Congregate Living Facility and Fire Codes

Updated: Mar 21

There is much debate, some with experience but, mainly he said, but she said type of discussions where folks starting their own CLHFs are getting misinformation. In the world we live in now, misinformation is the new hater for those of us that still want the internet to be the place to go to for finding out the better, truthful, down and dirty facts about any subject you are interested in becoming more knowledged in. That being said, we have taken the time to list the fire codes as it relates to a CLHF, hoping to water down alot of the misinformation out there today.


Facility requires fire sprinklers – NFPA -13D when licensed for two or more bedridden patients Smoke alarms are required in all sleeping areas, outside each sleeping area and all habitable areas. (Exceptions : kitchen bathrooms, closets or storage rooms) Shall get primary power from building wiring with a battery back-up. Shall be electrically interconnected Minimum 15db above ambient noise throughout facility Replaced every 10 years Carbon Dioxide alarms required If facility plans to house any deaf patients now or in the future, strobe alarms are required. Not required if not housing deaf patients Minimum of two exits are required Corridor width shall be a minimum of 36 inches Floor surface shall be a slip resistant surface Mean of egress shall not pass through more than one intervening room. Exit access requirements shall have access to one of the following exit arrangements from sleeping rooms Direct access from each sleeping room to the exterior. Exit door a minimum of 3 feet in width and 6 foot 8 inches in height. Doors shall open a minimum of 90 degrees and have 32 inches of clearance Sleeping rooms through an adjoining sleeping room with direct exit Sleeping room through the hallway serving the sleeping which has an exit directly to the outside. Hallway shall be separated from the rest of the house by a wall and a 1 3/8” self-closing, solid core door. No night latch, dead bolt, security chain or similar locking devices shall be used on sleeping rooms interior doors Fire Extinguishers required Change in level shall meet the requirements of California Building Code Section 425.8.5





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