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Affordable Fire Safety in Board and Care Homes. A Regulatory Challenge. Final Report.

pdf icon Affordable Fire Safety in Board and Care Homes. A Regulatory Challenge. Final Report. (6326 K)
Levin, B. M.; Groner, N. E.; Paulsen, R.

NIST GCR 93-632; 79 p. July 1993.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD
National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Washington, DC
Administration on Aging, Washington, DC
Social Security Administration, Baltimore, MD
Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Washington, DC
Health Care Financing Administration, Baltimore, MD
National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, MD

Available from:

National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB93-219723


board and care homes; egress; elderly persons; evacuation; fire codes; fire safety; handicapped; NFPA 101; residential buildings; sprinklers


This is the final technical report on a project concerning fire safety in Board and Care Homes. Homes vary greatly in the level of disability of residents and financial resources of the residents. A major concern is the availability of satisfactory care for clients with limited funds. Meeting fire safety codes can mean an unaffordable capital cost to financially marginal providers who cannot borrow money. One focus of the study is the use of the provisions in the Life Safety Code. Many agencies use these requirements and find they lead to a high level of safety without excessive costs. All have developed or adopted a procedure for rating Evacuation Difficulty that they find workable, and many find satisfactory. Other agencies use other requirements, sometimes more lenient and often more strict. Costs of fire safety systems, such as sprinklers, can vary greatly, impending a dialogue on the benefit-cost relationships of these systems. It appears that in some locations there are many homes that provide the services of Board and Care Homes but are not regulated.