WSR 02-15-135



(Aging and Adult Services Administration)

[ Filed July 22, 2002, 11:07 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 01-18-053.

Title of Rule: Emergency evacuation and safety requirements, new WAC 388-76-76505, 388-76-76510, 388-76-76515 and 388-76-76520; and repealing WAC 388-76-765.

Purpose: Adding new emergency evacuation and safety requirements for adult family homes as a result of changes in the Washington state building codes and updating requirements to ensure resident health and safety. Existing fire safety rules that are outdated will be repealed.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 70.128.040, 70.128.130, 70.128.140, chapter 43.20A RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 70.128.040, 70.128.130, 70.128.140.

Summary: These rules reflect new adult family home requirements in the Washington state building code WAC 51-40-0310.14 and update emergency evacuation and safety requirements to ensure resident health and safety.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The protection of the health and safety of residents receiving care and services in adult family homes is a priority. These rules reflect both best practice and current building code evacuation and safety standards ensuring that this priority is met through adult family home minimum licensing requirements.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Robert Stroh, Aging and Adult Services Administration, 640 Woodland Square Loop S.E., P.O. Box 45600, Olympia, WA 98504-5600, (360) 725-2587; Implementation and Enforcement: Joyce Stockwell, Aging and Adult Services Administration, (360) 725-2404.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The proposed rule is being updated for the first time in over six years. During this time, there has been a trend in the adult family home industry of serving residents with chronic medical and cognitive conditions who require significant or total physical assistance. In addition, the state building code requirements for adult family homes in WAC 51-40-0310 changed in 2001. Consequently, these proposed rules reflect changes in the building code and incorporate an updating of emergency evacuation requirements to ensure the protection of the health and safety of residents.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The outdated WAC 388-76-765 will be repealed and be replaced with these proposed new rules. These rules require newly licensed adult family homes to meet the requirements in WAC 51-40-0310.14 set forth by the Washington State Building Code Council effective July 1, 2001. In addition, specific emphasis has been placed on defining a resident's evacuation capability. Based on this information, the adult family home provider must ensure that the emergency evacuation plan for the home encompasses the evacuation capability of the total household and that such an evacuation can be done in a safe and timely manner.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The Aging and Adult Services Administration residential care services division has analyzed its proposed rules and concluded that the rules do not impose an increase in existing costs, an imposition of a new cost, or a decrease in benefit. New sections provide clarification of existing requirements, or update existing rules to conform to changes in state law in a continuing effort to ensure protection of the health and safety of residents. No new costs to small businesses are incurred.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. A review has been completed and the department has determined that the proposed rules do not "make significant amendments to a policy or regulatory program" and therefore are not "significant" as defined by the legislature. Also, the proposed rules adopt without material change rules of another Washington state agency (state building code requirements for adult family homes contained in WAC 51-40-0310.14), and therefore are exempt under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(iii). Therefore, the proposed changes in chapter 388-76 WAC, Adult family home minimum licensing requirements, are exempt from requiring a cost-benefit analysis.

Hearing Location: Blake Office Park (behind Goodyear Courtesy Tire), 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Rose Room, Lacey, WA 98503, on August 27, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Andy Fernando, DSHS Rules Coordinator, by August 23, 2002, phone (360) 664-6094, TTY (360) 664-6178, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, DSHS Rules Coordinator, Rules and Policies Assistance Unit, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, fax (360) 664-6185, e-mail, by 5:00 p.m., August 27, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than August 28, 2002.

July 17, 2002

Brian H. Lindgren, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

WAC 388-76-76505   What physical structure requirements must the provider ensure that the home meets?   (1) Each adult family home must meet applicable local licensing, zoning, building, and housing codes, and state and local fire safety regulations as they pertain to a single-family dwelling.

(2) It is the responsibility of the provider to check with local authorities to ensure all local codes are met.

(3) Effective July 1, 2001, the following must meet requirements in WAC 51-40-0310.14 Requirements for group R occupancies, adult family homes as established by the Washington state building code council:

(a) Any single-family dwelling that has been newly constructed meeting all current applicable building codes, that has never been occupied, and that has a pending adult family home license application with the department;

(b) Any single-family dwelling being converted for use as an adult family home.

(4) WAC 51-40-0310 does not apply to adult family homes licensed before July 1, 2001, that are being sold or transferred for the purpose continuing the operation of a licensed adult family home under new ownership.

(5) Windows in every room used by residents must be free of obstructions.

(6) When resident bedroom windows are fitted with storm windows, the provider must equip the storm windows with release mechanisms that are easily opened from the inside without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort.

(7) The provider must ensure that every occupied area used by residents receiving care and services has access to one or more exit and must not pass through a room, garage, or other space subject to being locked or blocked from the opposite side.

(8) Every occupied area used by residents must not be accessible only by ladder, folding stairs, or trap door.

(9) The provider must ensure that every bathroom door lock opens from the outside in an emergency.

(10) The provider must ensure that every closet door opens from the inside and outside.

(11) The provider must ensure that exit doors leading to the outside will open from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort.


WAC 388-76-76510   What are the resident emergency evacuation requirements that providers must address?   (1) Before a resident is admitted, the provider must disclose in writing and in a language understood by the prospective resident and/or their representative the following information:

(a) Whether or not the resident bedrooms in the home comply with current building code including evacuation standards;

(b) The source of and plan for on-site fire protection if the home is located outside a public fire district;

(c) All residents must participate in at least one household emergency evacuation drill per year involving a full evacuation from the home to a safe location.

(2) The resident's preliminary service plan (WAC 388-76-61030) and negotiated care plan (WAC 388-76-61500) must identify the resident's level of evacuation capability as defined by the following:

(a) Level 1: The resident is physically and mentally capable of self-preservation and walking or traversing a normal path to safety, including the ascent and descent of stairs, without the physical assistance of another person.

(b) Level 2: The resident is physically and mentally capable of traversing a normal path to safety with the use of mobility aids, but unable to ascend or descend stairs without the physical assistance of another person.

(c) Level 3: The resident physically or mentally is unable to walk or traverse a normal path to safety without the physical assistance of another person.

(3) The provider must ensure that residents who have an evacuation capability of Level 2 or Level 3 have their bedroom located on a grade level floor of the home. This grade level floor must have no less than two means of egress that do not require the use of stairs, elevator, or platform lift to exit.

(4) The provider must not admit or retain any residents who cannot be safely evacuated according to the provider's evacuation plan required under WAC 388-76-76520.

(5) For residents who are hearing and/or visually impaired, the provider must ensure that alternative emergency evacuation protections appropriate for hearing and/or visually impaired are installed.


WAC 388-76-76515   What fire safety and emergency requirements must the provider have in the home?   (1) The provider must provide and have readily available an approved 2-A:10-B:C rated (five pound) fire extinguisher in proper operating condition on each floor of living space of the adult family home. Where local fire authorities require installation of a different type or size of fire extinguisher, the requirement of the local authority shall prevail.

(2) The provider must ensure that each required fire extinguisher is inspected and serviced annually by a qualified inspector.

(3) If the home is not located in a public fire district, the provider must have written verification of adequate fire protection from the county fire authority.

(4) Every adult family home must have an approved automatic smoke detector in the following locations of the home:

(a) Every bedroom used by a resident;

(b) In proximity to the area where any resident or caregiver sleeps; and

(c) On every level of a home that is multi-level.

(5) Smoke detectors must be installed in such a manner so that the fire warning may be audible in all parts of the home upon activation of a single detector.

(6) The provider must ensure that all smoke detectors are maintained and in working condition at all times.

(7) The provider must not locate a stove or heater where the stove or heater blocks a resident's escape.

(8) Portable oil, gas, kerosene, and electric space heaters must not be used in the home except in the case of a power outage and the portable space heater is the home's only safe source of heat.

(9) For any adult family home licensed after September 1, 2002, the location of the adult family home must be accessible at all times for emergency vehicles, department personnel, representatives of the long-term care ombudsman program, and resident family members and/or representatives.

(10) The provider must report to the department any fire and/or emergency evacuation in the adult family home in accordance with WAC 388-76-675 (4)(a).


WAC 388-76-76520   What is required of the provider for emergency evacuation drills?   (1) The provider must develop a plan for emergency evacuation that reasonably ensures safe evacuation of all residents. The provider will determine the length of time necessary to safely evacuate all residents; however, the length of time shall not exceed five minutes. This emergency plan shall be written and posted and be operational at all times.

(2) All staff, caregivers and residents must be instructed in emergency evacuation procedures at the time of hire or admission.

(3) The provider must ensure that all residents participate in at least one household emergency evacuation drill every calendar year involving full evacuation from the home to a safe location.

(4) The provider must ensure that emergency evacuation drills are conducted at least every two months.

(5) The provider must document emergency evacuation drills recording the following information:

(a) Names of residents and staff involved including the person conducting the drill;

(b) Date and time of the drill; and

(c) The length of time required for evacuating all residents.



     The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:
WAC 388-76-765 Fire safety.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office