(a)  Privacy: Facilities shall be designed and constructed in a manner that will provide clients privacy while bathing, dressing or using toilet facilities.

(b)  Safety: Each facility shall be designed, constructed and equipped in a manner that ensures the physical safety of clients, staff and visitors.

(1)           All hallways, doorways, entrances, ramps, steps and corridors shall be kept clear and unobstructed at all times.

(2)           All mattresses purchased for existing or new facilities shall be fire retardant.

(3)           Electrical, mechanical and water systems shall be maintained in operating condition.

(4)           In areas of the facility where clients are exposed to hot water, the temperature of the water shall be maintained between 100-116 degrees Fahrenheit.

(5)           All indoor areas to which clients have routine access shall be well-lighted. Lighting shall be adequate to permit occupants to comfortably engage in normal and appropriate daily activities such as reading, writing, working, sewing and grooming.

(c)  Comfort Zone: Each 24-hour facility shall provide heating and air-cooling equipment to maintain a comfort range between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

(1)           This requirement shall not apply to therapeutic (habilitative) camps and other 24-hour facilities for six or fewer clients.

(2)           Facilities licensed prior to October 1, 1988 shall not be required to add or install cooling equipment if not already installed.

(d)  Indoor space requirements: Facilities licensed prior to October 1, 1988 shall satisfy the minimum square footage requirements in effect at that time.  Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, residential facilities licensed after October 1, 1988 shall meet the following indoor space requirements:

(1)           Client bedrooms shall have at least 100 square feet for single occupancy and 160 square feet when two clients occupy the bedroom.

(2)           Where bassinets and portable cribs for infants are used, a minimum of 40 square feet per bassinet or portable crib shall be provided.

(3)           No more than two clients may share an individual bedroom regardless of bedroom size.

(4)           In facilities with overnight accommodations for persons other than clients, such accommodations shall be separate from client bedrooms.

(5)           No client shall be permitted to sleep in an unfinished basement or in an attic.

(6)           In a residential facility licensed under residential building code standards and without elevators, bedrooms above or below the ground level shall be used only for individuals who are capable of moving up and down the steps independently.

(7)           Minimum furnishings for client bedrooms shall include a separate bed, bedding, pillow, bedside table, and storage for personal belongings for each client.

(8)           Only clients of the same sex may share a bedroom except for children age six or below, and married couples.

(9)           Children and adolescents shall not share a bedroom with an adult.

(10)         At least one full bathroom for each five or fewer persons including staff of the facility and their family shall be included in each facility.

(11)         Each facility, except for a private home provider, shall have a reception area for clients and visitors and private space for interviews and conferences with clients.

(12)         The area in which therapeutic and habilitative activities are routinely conducted shall be separate from sleeping areas.

(e)  Where strict conformance with current requirements would be impractical, or because of extraordinary circumstances, new programs, or unusual conditions, DFS may approve alternate methods, procedures, design criteria and functional variations from the physical plant requirements when the facility can effectively demonstrate to DFS's satisfaction that the:

(1)           intent of the physical plant requirements are met; and

(2)           variation does not reduce the safety or operational effectiveness of the facility.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 122C-26; 143B-147;

Eff. May 1, 1996;

Temporary Amendment Eff. January 3, 2001;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2002.