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7.01 Waiver Settings Fire Safety Emergency Response/ Person In-Charge


All Open Door locations prioritize the health and safety of those we support and our employees. During any emergency situation, the Executive Director is in charge and will direct Crisis Response Team with proper actions and procedures. In the absence of the Executive Director, the Director of Services or Director of Operational Supports will be designated as in-charge. The Incident Hotline is the first point of contact for emergencies and the personnel with this phone will immediately notify executive staff of the emergency.

Fire Alarm System (Waiver locations)

Supported Living homes- individuals residing in supported living sites are their own homes. Each location is unique and has smoke detectors, fire extinguisher, and alarm.
Licensed homes (October Ridge and Harlem)- each home is equipped with smoke detectors, fire alarm system, and fire extiguishers.

Adult Day Services- each site is equipped with fire/smoke detectors, fire alarm, and fire extinguishers.

Staff Training

A. All staff are trained in Fire and Emergency Response during orientation and annually thereafter.

B. Each individual receives an initial training within 30 days of admission to licensed home location and then at least annually thereafter.

C. Documentation of training completion will be kept in Life Safety books, staff meetings, and personnel files.

Fire Drills

Each location is required to complete records of fire drills using electronic drill form. A fire drill will be practiced and documented at least four times per year and under varied conditions and different exits. These drill forms will be completed immediately after drill and submitted to Executive Director.

A. When alarm is heard, staff will prompt individuals to calmly evacuate to the nearest exit. (Staff should reassure all individuals and visitors with nature of alarm, location, specific instructions for action). For drills, staff will use alternate communication methods such as signing “fire” to individuals with hearing loss or physically assist those with visual impairments.

B. All individuals and staff shall meet at designated evacuation site:
UCo- back lot or front yard

CAC- front of back lot- shelter house

Open Door Art Studio- evacuates to back parking lot or front yard

C. A head count/role call of all individuals and staff shoudl be taken upon evacuation and after arrival to safe place

D. Stay at designated place until released by whomever is in-charge of running the drill.

Alternate designated safe spaces

If unforeseen circumstances prevent evacuation to designated spaces, staff and individuals will be directed to alternate safe spaces at the time of drill.

Other safety measures

During evacuation process, ONLY WHENEVER POSSIBLE, close bedroom doors behind you, take keys with you, and unlock door when exiting apartment to give fire department unlocked access.

If problems or concerns occur during drill or if any individual refuses or delays evacuation, an incident report should be written detailing the concerns. The incident report will be forwarded to team for follow-up in next connections meeting and follow-up will be forwarded to Director for life safety book.


  1. R.A.C.E (Rescue, Alarm, Contain, Extinguish)- When any one spots a fire, sees or smells smoke, etc. all individuals and staff need to be warned and rescued from immediate fire area. The alarm pull box by exits should be pulled immediately. The alarm with sound and fire doors will close automatically.
  2. ALARM- when alarm is heard, Staff shall prompt all individuals to calmly exit through nearest exit to the designated safe spaces as listed above. A head count of all individual and staff should be taken upon evacuation to safe space
  3. BACK UP CALL- make a back up call to fire department when all safe
  4. Stay at designated space until released by fire department.
  5. IF THE FIRE IS SMALL ENOUGH AND ONLY IF MULTIPLE STAFF WORKING, one person may attempt to contain the fire by closing the door to that room which contains the fire/smoke in the room and slows spreading to others and will make the sprinkler system activate sooner as it is heat sensitive and activates when temperature reaches set level.
  7. If rescue, alarm, contain procedures have been folllowed and fire department not arrived, try to extinguish small fires only by using fire extinguisher, smothering it, or pouring water (if not grease or electrical fire).
  8. If fire cannot be extinguished, leave area and close door. WHEN NOT TO TRY TO EXTINGUISH: When fire spreading beyond starting point, if large, if could block escape route, and if unsure how to use fire extinguisher.



  1. Do not leave anything cooking on stove unattended
  2. Always use stove overhead vent when cooking
  3. Slowly take lids off pans and open over door slowly
  4. Monitor items while using toaster
  5. Instead of frying foods, encourage baking of foods
  6. When baking, track cooking time, check and keep alarm for time
  7. Appliances- keep unplugged when not in use
  8. Before turning on oven, check to ensure nothing inside
  9. Do not wear loose fitting clothing when cooking
  10. Do not place plastics in dishwasher
  11. If fire alarm sounds while cooking, TURN STOVE/OVEN OFF before leaving location, if possible


  1. All employees are not permitted to smoke on premises of any Open Door location. They may only smoke in their car or outside of the facility. Staff are not permitted to leave individuals unattended to go out to smoke. This includes vapes or other alternative smoking devices.
  2. Individuals residing at location may smoke outside in designated areas only and must dispose of butts in approved fire-safe containers only.


  1. Hallways are not to be used for storage of large items- must have eggress
  2. Trash is to be stored in cans only and taken to dumpster
  3. Doors should never be blocked
  4. Do not place anything on top of lightbulbs.
  5. Candles are not permitted
  6. Extension cords are not permitted
  7. Dryer lint filters should be cleaned after each use
  8. Dryer vents are routinely cleaned by maintenance staff
  9. Preventative maintenance schedule is maintained-see policy in 8.00 series for detailed list meeting all life safety requirements.

Signed by:

Rebecca Sharp Porter
Chief Executive Director

Last Revised: 3/23/23

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