Adult Foster Home Checklist

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Emergency Planning

  • Prepare-plan ahead as to what to do, who does what and when to do it
  • Establish-an Emergency Coordinator and chain of command
  • Assign-staff duties and responsibilities
  • Address-who will assist disabled occupants
  • Establish-a system for accounting for personnel and non-personnel following an evacuation
  • Compile-updated list of occupants emergency contact information
  • Post -   floor plans clearly throughout building showing evacuation routes and alternate means of escape, designated “safe areas”, fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, first aid areas, etc.

Fire Drills

  • Purpose - to be ready should an occurrence happen, increasing the chance of survival.  Fire drills will make people familiar with their surroundings and their drill procedures and establish conduct of the drill as a matter of routine.  A disorganized evacuation can lead to confusion, injury, death, and increased property damage.
  • Frequency-to be conducted at least every 90 days
  • Timing-all residents shall be evacuated from the residence within 3 minutes.
  • Drill Records-maintained for three years
  • Attitude-always take the drills seriously, and evacuate when the alarm sounds
  • Safe Area”-designated for occupants to evacuate to
  • Know-evacuation routes and alternate means of escape
  • Circumstances-drills should be held at expected and unexpected times and under varying conditions

 In Case of Fire, think “RACE”

  • Rescue-all persons in immediate danger area
  • Alarm-announce the fire, pull the alarm, begin evacuation, and dial 911
  • Confine-the fire by the closing doors, if possible
  • Extinguish-    the fire only if it is small, not spreading, and you have an easy and safe escape path.  Do not waste time in trying to fight a fire if the fire might block your only way out.



  • Location-only ambulatory residents capable of self-preservation shall be housed on a second floor or in a basement
  • New Arrivals-   within 24 hours of arrival, new residents shall be shown how to respond to a fire alarm and how to exit from the facility in an emergency


  • Address and Fire Access- identifiable and maintained


  • Primary Bedroom Exit-required…exterior doors shall have latching knob hardware.  All doors in the means of egress shall have an obvious method of operation.  Hasp, sliding bolt, hood & eyes, and double-key dead bolts are not permitted.
  • Secondary Bedroom Exit-required...if a window: minimum net clear opening area of 5.7 sq. ft., minimum net clear opening height=24”, minimum net clear opening width=20”, maximum sill height=44”.  Windows must open freely from the inside, without special knowledge.  Ladders, rope and chain ladders shall not be used as a secondary means of egress
  • Stairs, Lifts or Elevators- shall not be used as a substitute for a resident’s capability to ambulate stairs
  • Split Level Homes-shall be evaluated according to accessibility, emergency egress and evacuation capability of residents
  • Access for Disabled-provided if needed
  • Recognizable-exit signs maintained
  • Unobstructed-exits and exit pathways
  • Unlocked-doors operable without special knowledge by anyone desiring to evacuate
  • Illuminated-   maintain readily accessible at least one plug-in rechargeable flashlight on each occupied floor, or other approved means of emergency lighting
  • Combustible storage-prohibited near exits, exit enclosures, or under stairways

Smoke Detectors

  • Location-   shall be installed in each sleeping room, adjacent hallways, common living areas, basements, and in two story homes at the top of each stairway
  • Connection-  all detectors shall be connected to a sounding device or interconnected to other detectors to provide when actuated an alarm which is audible in all sleeping rooms
  • Hearing Impaired-visible notification device(s) shall be provided for hearing impaired occupants
  • Maintenance-facility shall test and maintain smoke detector(s) as required
  • Battery Operated-allowed in existing buildings, however, must have 10-year battery


  • Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI’s)-installed in Kitchen/Bathroom areas where outlet is within 6’ of sink/tub
  • Electrical/Mechanical Room Housekeeping-no combustible storage allowed
  • Overloaded circuits?  recommend extra circuit or use power taps
  • Extension cords-  plugged into outlet or power tap directly, not piggybacked, proper size, not used as substitute for permanent wiring, serves only one portable appliance, grounded, UL listed for intended use

Evacuation Plan

  • Evacuation Plan-Must be developed
  • Caregivers-must demonstrate the ability to safely evacuate residents within 3 minutes
  • Evacuation Drills-must be held every 90 days 
  • Records of Drills-must be maintained for 3 years
  • Evacuation Floor Plan-Must be posted in prominent place in home and be maintained current and accurate, showing locations of fire extinguishers, fire exits, and planned evacuation routes

Fire Extinguishers

  • Proper Extinguishers-  minimum one rated min. 2A10BC on each floor with maximum travel distance of 75’ from anywhere to extinguisher.
  • Training-think “PASS” (Pull pin, Aim nozzle, Squeeze trigger, Sweep towards base of fire)
  • Proper Locations-near exit doors where possible, not exceeding maximum travel distance, properly mounted (max. 5’ high if <40 lbs., max 3 ½’ if >40 lbs.  In all cases, min. 4” above ground)
  • Maintained-annual service required by qualified technician

Flame Spread/Smoke Density for Wall & Ceiling Materials

  • Maximum Flame Spread-Class III (76-200)
  • Maximum Smoke Density-450
  • If more than 10% of combined wall and ceiling areas in a sleeping room or exit way is composed of readily combustible materials such as acoustical tile or wood paneling, such material must be treated with an approved intumescent surface coating. Exception:  Buildings supplied with an approved automatic sprinkler system 

Flammable Storage

  • Quantities-limited to amount needed for cleaning & maintenance
  • Location-   flammable liquids shall be stored in approved containers and in approved locations (normally an outside shed would be appropriate)
  • Oily Rags or Similar Materials-      shall be stored in metal, metal lined or other approved containers equipped with tight-fitting covers.


  • Gas Furnace/Water Heater-proper maintained venting
  • Clothes Dryers-Lint trap maintained clean

Heat Sources

  • Heating Appliances-installed with permit where applicable and according to manufacturers specifications
  • Ignition Sources-prohibited near fumes, clearance to combustibles to be maintained
  • Fireplaces-shall be protected with listed protective glass screen or metal mesh screen and anchored top and bottom
  • Unvented Heaters-oil, gas, or kerosene shall not be used
  • Portable Heaters- tip over and high temperature limiting features required and 3’ clearance to combustibles.  Also, portable heaters shall not be used with electrical extension cords
  • Matches/Lighters-stored properly away from confused or disoriented residents

Holiday Décor

  • Exit Access-shall not be obstructed by decorative materials
  • Candles-not allowed for any decorations or ceremonies, except as approved by the fire authority prior to the event
  • Ignition Sources-not allowed within the vicinity of combustible materials
  • Natural Vegetation including Christmas Trees- must be discarded if there are any sign of dryness
  • Christmas Tree Care (considered naturally flame resistant only with high water content):  Stump must be sawed off at an angle at least 1” above original cut; must be mounted securely in stand with a watering reservoir; must be watered daily, maintaining a high water level and not permitted to dry out; must be discarded if there are any sign of dryness; keep tree away from heat sources, stairways, or escape routes
  • Artificial Decorations-shall be fire retardant
  • Lights-   use only UL listed miniature lights inside, use only UL listed exterior lights for outside, do not staple-attach with insulated (plastic) hangers, discard if damaged, use only heavy duty grounded extension cords

Special Hazards

  • Oxygen Cylinders-shall be adequately secured to prevent from falling or being knocked over, shall not be used or stored in room where wood stoves, fireplaces or open flames are located
  • Smoking-   Not allowed where oxygen containers are used or stored.  In addition, “No Smoking” signs shall be posted in these areas.  Also, smoking shall only be allowed in designated areas, and never in sleeping rooms


Sources:  UFC, UBC, NFPA, OSHA, and Numerous Business Emergency Plans.  Updated 3/03

Additional Department Information

Fire and Life Safety Department Contacts

Medford Fire-Rescue Fire & Life Safety Division
200 South Ivy Street, Room #180
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 774-2300
Fax: (541) 774-2514
Contact: Deputy Chief - Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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