Inspection Course


Residential Board and Care Occupancies

A residence which always provides shelter and overnight accommodations, oftentimes meals, and, as distinct from ordinary boarding houses, provide the residents with some form of personal care.

Personal care indicates that the owner of the facility has a responsibility for the safety and welfare of the occupants. However, unlike a health care facility, will not administer or prescribe medicine.

They provide lodging, boarding, and personal care to 4 or more residents who are unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner. Group homes, rest homes, shelters, halfway houses, etc.)

It is estimated that there are more than 300,000 board and care facilities housing up to 1,500,000 persons in the United States. In many states, these facilities are unregulated, unidentified, and pose large loss of life potential.

The most significant fire threat in this occupancy is the enormous potential for loss of human life. Evacuation is an important consideration. (The list of typical occupancies indicate the evacuation capability of residents can vary significantly.) The level of evacuation as defined by the Life Safety Code, should be addressed:

  1. Prompt - equivalent of general population, within 3 min.
  2. Slow - residents can move in timely manner, WITH assistance from staff, within 13 min.
  3. Impractical - cannot move in timely manner, even with assistance, more than 13 min.

Evacuation should be measured from sleeping rooms as well. Each sleeping room must have two means of escape. If two means of escape cannot be provided, a fire suppression system must be installed.

The most basic form of protection should include:

  1. Means to alert residents to the existence of fire.
  2. Tighten controls on flammability of interior finish.
  3. Some form of enclosure of vertical openings.
  4. Automatic suppression systems.

The fire load within individual sleeping rooms is similar to that in sleeping rooms in dwellings. Be cautious of personal furniture brought into rooms.

Because of certain protection features (smoke barriers) are not functional in small buildings and because large buildings are more difficult to evacuate, NFPA 101 distinguishes between small and large facilities.

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INDEX Occupancies

FPT 102 - Fire Prevention and Inspection // Instructor: Kevin M. Kolb        Slide #7