Guidance for Compliance
The Home Safety Checklist (PDF) is developed by the Department of Human Services. You are expected to comply with all areas of the checklist. Failure to comply with an item can result in a correction order.
The following items must be posted and/or readily accessible in a prominent location in a common area of the home where they can be easily observed by a person responding to an incident:
Emergency phone numbers:
- The bright orange sheet of emergency numbers with 911 at the top which Washington County provides to you.
- It must be posted by your phone or in a prominent location.
Written emergency procedures:
- This is the diagram of the home showing the emergency exit routes.
- It must be posted either in residents' bedrooms on the back of the door so that it is visible when the door is closed or by the inside of the bedroom door.
- It can be located in central area of the home such as a hallway.
- It is NOT acceptable for it to be located right by the front door.
- It is NOT acceptable for it to be hidden inside a cupboard.
- There should be a plan located on each level used by residents.
An operable battery powered flashlight and radio/TV:
- Must demonstrate to the licensor that these are operable.
- Sterile compresses
- Ice bag or cold pack
- Oral or surface thermometer
- Mild liquid soap
- Adhesive tape
- First-aid manual
An operable telephone:
- Should have a landline phone or dedicated cell which is available to the residents in case of an emergency or to use when you are not home.
Knives, tools, matches, and other potentially hazardous materials are inaccessible to children and vulnerable adults, as needed, except while being used with appropriate supervision.
- If needed, providers must lock or securely store the above items.
Combustible items are properly stored at least 36" from any heating source.
- This includes fireplaces and furnaces.
- Gas operated water heaters also require a clear area for proper ventilation.
Food is handled and properly stored to prevent contamination, spoilage, or a threat to health.
- Freezers should be 0° F and below.
- Refrigerators should be 40° F and below.
- It is recommended that providers get thermometers for their freezers and refrigerators.
Residence is clean and free from accumulations of dirt, rubbish, peeling paint, rodents, and insects.
- All areas of the home should be dusted and vacuumed regularly.
- All surfaces of the bathroom must be cleaned regularly.
- Trash must be disposed of properly.
- Trash must not accumulate inside or outside the home. This includes inside of residents’ bedrooms. It is not an excuse to say that the resident refused to clean their bedroom or their bathroom.
Chemicals, detergents, medicines, and other toxic substances are stored separately from food products and are inaccessible to children and vulnerable adults as needed.
- These items must be stored separately.
- If you must store them on shelving units; food is on the top shelves, medication is on the next lower, and chemicals are stored on the lowest levels. These items should NOT be placed on the same shelf.
Medication is inaccessible to children and vulnerable adults as needed. Schedule II controlled substances are stored in a locked area.
- List of Schedule II medications.
- Providers should have a locked place for all medications as needed.
There is a safe water supply in the residence. Water from privately-owned wells is tested annually by a certified laboratory.
- Well water must be tested yearly.
Individual clean towels, wash cloths, and bedding are provided for each client.
- Providers must provide towels and wash cloths for the resident. These must not be from a shared supply.
- Each resident must be provided a complete set of bedding appropriate for the season. These must not be from a shared supply.
Weapons must be unloaded. Weapons and ammunition must not be visible and must be stored separately in locked areas.
- All handguns, rifles, shotguns, bb guns, hunting bows, swords, and hunting knives are locked.
- Ammunition should be stored separately from the weapon with different keys to open the locks.
Exit doors and windows are not obstructed and are easily opened from the inside.
- Cannot store or place items in front of exit doors or windows either inside or out.
- Locks must be of the approved type.
- Locks or latches cannot be located higher than 48 inches from the floor or require special knowledge to open.
The wiring appears safe; no known hazards exist.
- Outlet covers should be in place.
- No exposed wires.
- Covers should not be cracked or damaged.
Extension cords are appropriately used and are not used in place of permanent wiring.
- Only power strips which have a RESET BUTTON on them are allowed.
- If you use an extension cord it should be of the type which only allows one items to be plugged in.
- It should be only used for a couple of hours then stored away.
A fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A:10 BC is maintained in the kitchen cooking area or area approved by the fire marshal.
- Extinguishers must be checked and tagged yearly by a professional.
- They need to be mounted no higher than 48 inches from the floor.
- They should not be placed within close range of the oven.
All smoke detectors are properly installed, appropriately located, and maintained in proper operating condition.
- Providers should check and change the batteries at least twice a year.
- Replace the detectors every 7 years.
- Mount according to manufacturer's directions and keep them clean.
All interior doors can be unlocked from the outside and the opening device is readily accessible in the case of an emergency.
- A key or other device must be available to unlock all bedroom and bathroom doors.
- It should not take more than a minute to locate a key or device to unlock a door.
- If a resident wishes a lock on their bedroom door providers must have a copy.
The water temperature does not exceed 120° F in order to prevent scalding.
- The temperature will be checked at all licensing visits.
Fireplaces, wood burning stoves, and other hot surfaces are protected by guards to prevent burns.
- A screen or guard must be placed in front of all fireplaces.
Furnaces are checked regularly and maintained in good working condition and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended guidelines.
- Providers will need to have their furnaces checked by a professional according to the manufacturer's recommendation.
- They will need to provide documentation of furnace checks to the licensor.