This guideline is intended to provide the minimum requirements necessary for review and approval of residentially based licensed care facilities within the Butte County Fire Department's jurisdiction. The guideline has been prepared using the 1998 California Fire and Building Codes and the California Code of Regulations, Title 19.
The regulations regarding residentially based care facilities are found in the California Code of Regulations Titles 19 and 24. The following guidelines will ensure that appropriate requirements are met.
Building Occupancy Classifications
R-2.1 Residentially-based, licensed facilities accommodating more than six non-ambulatory clients. This division may include ambulatory clients. These classification will include such facilities as Adult Residential Facilities, congregate Living Health Facilities, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE), Group Homes and Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill.
R-2.1.1 Residentially-based, licensed facilities accommodating six or less non-ambulatory clients. This division may include ambulatory clients. Licensing categories that may use this classification include Adult residential Facilities, congregate Living Health Facilities, Foster Family Homes, Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled Habilitative, Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled Nursing, nurseries for the full time e of children under the age of six, but not including "infants" as defined in CBC Section 210; Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, Small Homes and dential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill.
Note: "Infant" is defined as any child who, because of age only, is unable to walk and requires the aid of another person to evacuate the building. In no case shall the term "infant" mean a child over the age of two.
R-2.2 Residentially-based, licensed facilities accommodating more than six ambulatory clients. This division may include non-ambulatory clients and shall not exceed six non-ambulatory clients. Licensing categories that may use this classification include Adult Residential Facilities, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE), Group Homes, Community Treatment Facilities and Social Rehabilitation Facilities.
R-2.2.1 Residentially-based, licensed facilities accommodating six or less ambulatory clients. This division may include a maximum of two non-ambulatory clients. Licensing categories that may use this classification include Adult Residential Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled Habilitative, Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled Nursing, Nursing Homes, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, Foster Family Homes, Group Homes, Small Family Homes, Community Treatment Facilities and Social Rehabilitation Facilities.
R-2.3 Residentially-based, licensed facilities providing hospice care throughout accommodating more than six bedridden clients. Licensing categories that may use this classification include congregate Living Health Facilities for the Terminally Ill, and Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill.
R-2.3.1 Residentially-based, facilities providing hospice care throughout accommodating six or less bedridden clients. Licensing categories include Congregate Living Health Facilities for the Terminally Ill and Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill.
Prior to requesting a fire safety inspection, if any remodeling or new construction will be done two sets of dimensioned site and floor plans shall be submitted to the Butte County Development Services (Building Division) office for review and approval.
The plans must include the following:
· A plot plan of the property including the assessor's parcel number and street address
· The occupancy classification as described above
· Smoke detector locations
· Locations of exit doors
· Locations of landings, ramps, stairways, steps, sidewalks and gates.
All dimensions must be included. A floor plan showing furniture layout shall be provided for each client bedroom. Aisle widths shall be indicated in the plan even through furniture does not need to be drawn to scale. Furniture shall be in place for Fire authority inspection.
A fire clearance does not constitute zoning clearance. Contact the Butte County Development Services (Planning Division) for zoning information.
** Fire Department Inspection Checklist **
1. Address numbers shall be posted on the house and shall be visible from the street. Said numbers shall contrast with their background and shall be sufficiently illuminated for viewing the numbers at night. Illumination may be either internal or external.
2. There shall be a minimum of two exits from the dwelling. All exits (doors and gates) shall have a single action, no knowledge required hardware. This hardware is openable from the inside without a key or any special knowledge or effort. If a deadbolt is provided, it shall release when the primary doorknob or lever is turned. No other locks or latches shall be on doors or gates. Exits shall be 36 inches wide and 6 feet 8 inches tall and provide a 32-inch clear opening. A sliding door may be used as an exit from bedrooms; however, in order to provide a 32-inch clear opening, a 6-foot or larger door will be necessary. Exits shall not pass through kitchens, garages, storerooms, or closets and shall not pass through more than one intervening room.
3. Bedrooms used by non-ambulatory clients shall have access to at least one required exit which conforms to one of the following:
•Exits through a corridor/hallway or area and into a bedroom (in the immediate area), which has an exit directly to the exterior. Bedroom doors used as exits shall have exit signs and shall not be provided with a lock or latch preventing egress.
•The color and design of lettering, arrows, and other symbols on exit signs shall be a high contrast with their background. Words on the sign shall be in block letters 6 inches in height with a stroke of not less than ¾ inch.
•Through a corridor/hallway serving the sleeping area, which exits directly to the exterior.
•Direct from the bedroom to the exterior.
•Exit through an adjoining bedroom that exits to the exterior. (No privacy locks on bedrooms allowed, if exiting through bedroom.)
4. No bed, chair, equipment, storage materials, or any other item shall be placed in any manner that would block or obstruct the required width of an exit. This shall include the exterior sidewalks leading from the exits to the public way.
5. A floor or landing shall be provided on each side of every exit door. The floor or landing shall not be more than ½" lower than the threshold of the doorway.
•The exterior floor or landing shall have a minimum length of 44 inches and be at least as wide as the opening.
•For hinged doors, the landing shall extend 24 inches past the edge of the door.
6. Homes with non-ambulatory clients may require exterior ramps. If the exterior landing has more than ½ inch step down, a ramp shall be provided. The slope of the ramp shall not be steeper than 1 inch vertical to 12 inches horizontal with a minimum clear width of 36 inches. Ramps shall have a non-skid surface. As an example, a 6-inch drop from a landing would require a 6-foot long ramp.
7. Guardrails shall be provided if ramps are more than 30 inches above the ground. The top of guardrails shall not be less than 36" in height.
8. A fire extinguisher with a minimum classification of 2A:10BC shall be mounted in a conspicuous and unobstructed location. The maximum travel distance to any extinguisher shall not be more than 75 feet. The top of the extinguisher shall be between 3 and 5 feet above finished floor. All extinguishers shall be serviced annually by a licensed company and affixed with a tag either annually or after each use.
9. If the garage is attached to the dwelling, the door between the dwelling and the garage shall be maintained to be self-closing and latching. The door shall be a minimum of 1-3/8" thick solid wood door. The garage shall not be used for sleeping purposes. There shall be no openings from the garage into any of the sleeping areas. Maintain garage in a neat, orderly fashion with a minimum of combustible storage. Thirty-inch (30") clearance from the water heater shall be maintained.
10. Good housekeeping shall be maintained. The storage of flammable and combustible liquids is not permitted in the residence.
11. Owners of care homes situated in mountainous areas or forest-covered lands, brush-covered lands, or grass-covered lands shall provide and maintain at all times a screen over the outlet of every chimney or stovepipe that is attached to any fireplace, stove or other device that burns solid or liquid fuel. The screen shall be constructed of nonflammable material with openings of not more than 1/2 -inch in size.
12. Every heating appliance which does not have protective features incorporated in its design shall be provided with guards that will provide protection against the ignition of clothing and combustible material.
•Appliances employing open flame radiated heat (fireplace, woodstoves) shall have fixed and substantially constructed metallic guards located not less than ten inches (10") from the radiating flame and the guard members shall be spaced not more than two inches (2") apart.
•Cabinet type appliances (gas heaters, etc.) that are not provided with an inner combustion chamber and an air circulating space between the combustion chamber and the outer shell, shall have fixed and substantially constructed metallic guards located not less than 3 inches from the shell and spaced not more than 2 inches apart.
13. Provide and maintain a device or devices suitable for manually sounding a fire alarm. Such devices shall be attached to the structure, be distinctive in tone, and be audible throughout the structure. A standard, wall-mounted, manually activated electric fire alarm bell is recommended.
•The power supply shall be wired on a circuit that cannot be interrupted by a disconnecting switch, i.e., wall switch. These devices need not be interconnected to any other fire alarm device, electrically supervised or provided with emergency power.
14. A smoke detector shall be installed in each sleeping room and at a point centrally located in the hallway or area giving access to sleeping areas. Additional detectors may be required for vaulted ceilings adjacent to the hallway. Detectors shall sound an alarm audible in all sleeping areas of the unit in which they are located. This may require interconnected smoke detectors of a fire alarm system.
•New construction requires smoke detectors to take their primary power from a commercial source and wiring shall be permanent. Existing occupancies may have smoke detectors that use batteries as their sole power supply.
•Permits shall be secured from the local building department as required for structural and/or electrical modifications. Final building department inspections shall be signed off prior to the final Fire Department inspection.
Upon final inspection and approval of the Fire Department, the Fire and Life Safety (Std. 850) form will be signed and forwarded to Community Care Licensing.