(2) Fire safety equivalency determination.
An existing facility that does not meet all the requirements of the applicable Life Safety Code may be considered in compliance with it if it achieves a passing score on the Fire Safety Evaluation System (FSES), developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards, to establish safety equivalencies under the Life Safety Code.
Each facility shall have a written plan to be followed in case of fire, a tornado warning, a missing resident or other emergency which shall specify persons to be notified, locations of alarm signaling devices and fire extinguishers, evacuation routes, a procedure for evacuating helpless residents, the frequency of fire drills and assignment of specific tasks and responsibilities to the staff on each shift and personnel from each discipline.
The plan shall be developed with the assistance of qualified fire and safety experts, including the local fire protection authority.
All employees shall be oriented to the plan and trained to perform assigned tasks, and shall be familiar with the use of the facility's fire protection features.
The plan and evacuation procedures shall be posted at suitable visible locations in the corridors throughout the facility and shall include a diagram of the immediate floor area showing the exits, location of fire alarms, evacuation routes and locations of fire extinguishers.
The facility administrator shall clearly communicate the plan and evacuation procedure to staff and shall periodically review the plan and evacuation procedures with staff.
The facility administrator shall periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and evacuation procedures.
The facility shall hold evacuation drills at least quarterly on each shift and under varied conditions. The facility shall actually evacuate residents to a safe area during one drill a year on each shift.
The facility shall make special provisions for evacuating physically handicapped persons during drills.
Facility staff shall write a report and evaluation of each evacuation drill and shall keep a copy of the report on file.
The facility administrator shall investigate all problems with evacuation drills, including accidents, and take corrective action to prevent similar problems in the future.
(c) Fire inspections.
The administrator of the facility shall arrange for fire protection as follows:
At least semi-annual inspection of the facility shall be made by the local fire authority. Signed certificates of these inspections shall be kept on file in the facility;
Certification in writing shall be obtained from the local fire authority for the adequacy of the facility's written fire plan, including procedures for orderly evacuation of residents, as well as the fire safety of the facility. A copy of the certification shall be kept on file within the facility; and
If the facility is located in a city, village or township that does not have an officially established fire department, a continuing contract for fire protection service with the nearest municipality providing the service shall be obtained. The contract or a copy of it shall be kept on file in the facility.
All fire equipment shall be maintained in readily usable condition and inspected annually. A fire extinguisher suitable for grease fires shall be provided in or adjacent to the kitchen. Each extinguisher shall be provided with a tag on which the date of the last inspection is indicated.
Extinguishers shall be mounted on walls or posts where they are clearly visible and at a height that is convenient for staff and residents. No extinguisher may be tied down, locked in a cabinet, placed in a closet or placed on the floor.
(e) Fire report.
All incidents of fire in a facility shall be reported in writing to the department's division of quality assurance within 72 hours.
DHS 134.82 Note
Note: The address of the Division of Quality Assurance is P.O. Box 2969, 1 W. Wilson St., Madison, WI, 53701-2969 (phone 608-266-8481).
Facilities shall have and enforce a policy and rules to ensure that smoking materials are used safely. The policy and rules shall include the designation of areas in which smoking is permitted, as required under s. 101.123 (4)
DHS 134.82 Note
Note: Section 101.123 (4), Stats., is repealed effective July 5, 2010.
(g) Prevention of ignition.
Open-flame lights are not permitted, except as provided by law. Heat-producing devices and piping shall be designed or enclosed to prevent the ignition of clothing and furnishings.
(h) Floor coverings.
All floor coverings and edging shall be securely fastened to the floor or constructed so that they are slip-resistant and free of hazards such as curled or broken edges. If the facility serves residents who crawl, a resilient non-abrasive and slip-resistant surface, or non-abrasive carpeting, shall be provided. Scatter rugs not meeting the above criteria are prohibited.
(i) Roads and sidewalks.
Walkways and roads leading into and out of the facility shall be kept passable and open at all times of the year. Walkways, drives, fire escapes and other means used for exiting to a public way shall be kept free of ice, snow and other obstructions.
DHS 134.82 History
Cr. Register, June, 1988, No. 390
, eff. 7-1-88; CR 04-053
: r. and recr. (1), r. (2) and table 134.82, renum. (3) and (4) to be (2) and (3) Register October 2004 No. 586
, eff. 11-1-04; correction in (3) (e) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6.
, Stats., Register January 2009 No. 637
; CR 16-087
: am. (1) Register September 2017 No. 741
, eff. 10-1-17; correction in (1) made under s. 35.17
, Stats., Register September 2017 No. 741
The building shall be maintained in good repair and kept free of hazards, including hazards created by any damaged or defective building equipment. Floors shall be maintained in a safe condition.
In all facilities having plans approved on or after March 17, 1974, except in small facilities, all corridors in resident use areas shall be at least 6 feet wide.
In all facilities having plans approved before March 17, 1974, except in small facilities, all corridors in resident use areas shall be at least 4 feet wide.
In small facilities all corridors in resident use areas shall be at least 3 feet wide.
In existing small facilities exit doors, stair doors and resident room doors shall be at least 28 inches wide and in newly constructed small facilities exit doors, stair doors and resident room doors shall be at least 36 inches wide.
In type I facilities with over 16 beds, exit doors, stair doors and resident room doors shall be at least 28 inches wide.
In type II facilities with over 16 beds, exit doors, stair doors and resident room doors shall be at least 36 inches wide and 80 inches high and shall have a fire rating of at least 20 minutes or equivalent, except that in facilities having plans approved on or after March 17, 1974 exit doors and resident room doors shall be at least 44 inches wide.
Each exit door shall have fastenings or hardware to permit the door to be opened from the inside by pushing against a single bar or plate or by turning a single knob or handle.
Exit doors from the building and from nursing areas and resident living areas may not be hooked or locked to prevent exiting from the inside, except as provided under s. DHS 134.33 (3)
DHS 134.83 Note
See rules adopted under chs. SPS 361
for other restrictions on locking of exits.
The lock is operable from inside the room with a simple one-hand, one-motion operation without the use of a key unless the resident is confined in accordance with s. DHS 134.33 (3)
All staff regularly assigned to work in the resident care area have in their possession a master-key for the rooms in that area;
A master-key is available to emergency personnel such as the fire department; and
The resident is capable of following directions and taking appropriate action for self-preservation under emergency conditions.
In new construction, toilet room doors shall be at least 36 inches wide.
In facilities converted from another use that are approved after the effective date of these rules, toilet room doors shall be at least 32 inches wide.
In type II facilities, except for new construction, toilet room doors shall be at least 30 inches wide.
Toilet room doors under this paragraph may not swing into the toilet room unless they are provided with 2-way hardware.
If a facility houses more than 16 residents, it shall have an emergency electrical service with an independent power source which covers lighting at living unit stations, telephone switchboards, exit and corridor lights, boiler room, fire alarm systems and medical records when solely electronically based. The service may be battery-operated if effective for at least 4 hours.
In small facilities flashlights shall be readily available to staff on duty in the event that there is an electrical power interruption.
Carpeting may not be installed in rooms used primarily for food preparation and storage, dish and utensil washing, cleaning of linen and utensils, storage of janitor supplies, laundry processing, hydro-therapy, toileting and bathing, resident isolation or resident examination.
In all multi-story facilities there shall be at least one enclosed exit stairway for all floors, except that if floors are divided into fire sections there shall be at least one enclosed exit stairway for each fire section. This exit stairway shall provide an enclosed protected path of at least one-hour fire-rated construction for occupants to proceed with safety to the exterior of the facility.
Sprinkler heads shall be provided at the top of each linen or trash chute and also in the room in which a chute terminates.
An outside fire escape is permitted in an existing facility as one of the required means of exiting the facility if it meets all of the following requirements:
Iron, steel, concrete or other noncombustible material shall be used in the construction and support of the fire escape;
No part of the path of exit from the facility may be across a roof or other part of the facility that is made of combustible materials;
To protect against fire in the facility, the walls directly under the stairway and for a distance of 6 feet in all other directions shall be blank or closed walls. A window is permitted within this area if it is stationary or of steel sash construction and is glazed with wire glass of not less than 1/4-inch thickness. The size of the wire glass part of the window may not exceed 1296 square inches and not more than 54 inches in either length or width;
The fire escape shall be protected by a roof and at least partial sidewalls to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice;
The bottom riser shall terminate at ground level, with the last riser not more than the spacing of the riser above; and
Small facilities shall meet either the requirements of subd. 1.
or the provisions of the lodgings and rooming house section of the applicable life safety code.
(g) Conditions for housing certain residents above the street level floor.
Residents who are blind, non-ambulatory or physically handicapped may not be housed above the street level floor in an existing facility of 2 or more stories that is not at least 2-hour fire-resistive construction unless the facility is one-hour protected noncombustible construction as defined in standard 220 of the NFPA's National Fire Code, 1979 edition, fully sprinklered one-hour protected ordinary construction or fully sprinklered one-hour protected wood frame construction.
(h) Storage of oxygen.
Oxygen tanks when not in use shall be stored in a ventilated closet designated for that purpose or stored outside the facility building in an enclosed and secured area.
DHS 134.83 Note
Note: The 1978 and 1979 editions of NFPA's National Fire Code referenced in pars. (b) and (g) can be obtained from the National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269. Copies are kept on file in the offices of the Department's Division of Quality Assurance and the Legislative Reference Bureau.
DHS 134.83(6)(a)(a) Existing facilities.
All existing facilities shall have automatic sprinkler protection throughout all buildings unless all walls, partitions, piers, columns, floors, ceilings, roof and stairs are built of noncombustible material and all metallic structural members are protected by a noncombustible fire-resistive covering.
Certification that the sprinkler system is in proper operating condition shall be obtained annually from a licensed sprinkler contractor. A copy of the certification document shall be kept on file in the facility.
(c) New construction and conversions.
All newly constructed facilities, additions and buildings to be converted shall have automatic sprinkler protection throughout. In the event of an addition to or remodeling of an existing facility, the facility shall have automatic sprinkler protection throughout the building unless there is a 2-hour fire-rated partition wall between the old and new construction, in which case only the new addition or remodeled area shall be sprinklered. Facilities with more than 16 beds shall meet the automatic sprinkler protection standard 13 of NFPA's national fire code, 1985 edition. Facilities with 16 or fewer beds shall meet either standard 13 of that edition of the code or standard 13D of
NFPA's national fire code, 1984 edition.
DHS 134.83 Note
Note: The 1984 and 1985 editions of NFPA's National Fire Code can be obtained from the National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269. Copies are kept on file in the office of the Department's Division of Quality Assurance and the Legislative Reference Bureau.
(d) Sprinkler plans.
All sprinkler plans shall be submitted to the department's bureau of quality compliance for review and approval before installation of the sprinkler system.
DHS 134.83 Note
Note: The bureau of quality assurance was renamed the division of quality assurance.
(7) Smoke detectors for fire protection in small facilities. DHS 134.83(7)(a)(a)
A small facility shall provide a low-voltage interconnected smoke detection system to protect the entire facility so that, if any detector is activated, either alarms are triggered throughout the building or a centrally located alarm is triggered, except that a facility with 8 or fewer residents may use a radio-transmitting smoke detection system that triggers an audible alarm in a central area of the facility.
No facility may install a smoke detection system that fails to receive the approval of the department or of the department of industry,labor and human relations. At least one smoke detector shall be located at each of the following locations:
In every corridor, spaced not more than 30 feet apart and not further than 15 feet from any wall;
In each common use room, including living rooms, dining rooms, family rooms, lounges and recreation rooms but not including kitchens; and