Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

Pennsylvania Code



705.1.    General requirements for residential facilities.
705.2.    Building exterior and grounds.
705.3.    Living rooms and lounges.
705.4.    Counseling areas.
705.5.    Sleeping accommodations.
705.6.    Bathrooms.
705.7.    Food service.
705.8.    Heating and cooling.
705.9.    General safety and emergency procedures.
705.10.    Fire safety.
705.11.    Child care.

§ 705.1. General requirements for residential facilities.

 The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Hold a license under Chapter 709 (relating to standards for licensure of freestanding treatment facilities) or a certificate under Chapter 711 (relating to standards for certification of treatment activities which are part of a health care facility).

   (2)  Have a certificate of occupancy from the Department of Labor and Industry or its local equivalent.

   (3)  Comply with applicable Federal, State and local laws and ordinances.

§ 705.2. Building exterior and grounds.

 The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Maintain all structures, fences and playground equipment, when applicable, on the grounds of the facility so as to be free from any danger to health and safety.

   (2)  Keep the grounds of the facility clean, safe, sanitary and in good repair at all times for the safety and well-being of residents, employees and visitors. The exterior of the building and the building grounds or yard shall be free of hazards.

   (3)  Keep exterior exits, stairs and walkways lighted at night.

   (4)  Store all trash, garbage and rubbish in noncombustible, covered containers that prevent the penetration of insects and rodents, and remove it, at least once every week.

§ 705.3. Living rooms and lounges.

 The residential facility shall contain at least one living room or lounge for the free and informal use of clients, their families and invited guests. The facility shall maintain furnishings in a state of good repair.

§ 705.4. Counseling areas.

 The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Maintain space for both individual and group counseling sessions.

   (2)  Maintain counseling areas with furnishings which are in good repair.

   (3)  Ensure privacy so that counseling sessions cannot be seen or heard outside the counseling room. Counseling room walls shall extend from the floor to the ceiling.

   (4)  Locate counseling areas so that noise does not disturb or interfere with counseling sessions.

§ 705.5. Sleeping accommodations.

 (a)  In each residential facility bedroom, each resident shall have the following:

   (1)  A bed with solid foundation and fire retardant mattress in good repair.

   (2)  A pillow and bedding appropriate for the temperature in the facility.

   (3)  A storage area for clothing.

 (b)  Each shared bedroom shall have at least 60 square feet of floor space per resident measured wall to wall, including space occupied by furniture. When bunk beds are used, each bedroom shall have at least 50 square feet of floor space per resident measured wall to wall. Bunk beds shall afford enough space in between each bed and the ceiling to allow a resident to sit up in bed. Bunk beds shall be equipped with a securely attached ladder capable of supporting a resident. Bunk beds shall be equipped with securely attached railings on each open side and open end of the bunk. The use of bunk beds shall be prohibited in detoxification programs. Each single bedroom shall have at least 70 square feet of floor space per resident measured wall to wall, including space occupied by furniture.

 (c)  No more than four residents may share a bedroom.

 (d)  When calculating the square feet of bedroom floor space under subsection (b) or the number of residents per bedroom under subsection (c), children occupying a bedroom with an adult family member or guardian may not be included as residents.

 (e)  Each bedroom shall have direct access to a corridor or external exit.

 (f)  A bedroom may not be used as a means of egress from or access to another part of the facility.

 (g)  Sole entrances to stairways or basements may not be located in a resident’s bedroom.

 (h)  Each bedroom shall be ventilated by operable windows or have mechanical ventilation.

 (i)  Each bedroom shall have a window with a source of natural light.

 (j)  A residential facility shall prohibit smoking and use of candles in bedrooms.

 (k)  Bedrooms located in a basement shall meet the following requirements:

   (1)  The bedroom shall have wall, floor and ceiling coverings such as tile, linoleum, paneling or dry wall.

   (2)  The bedroom shall have a protective fire wall between the residents and any furnace.

 (l)  A residential facility shall be exempt from subsections (b), (c), (e), (f) and (i) for rooms that had been used as bedrooms in facilities licensed as of March 2, 2002. If a facility expands its capacity or renovates to relocate or add bedrooms, this exemption does not apply to the new bedrooms. If the facility relocates or rebuilds, this exemption does not apply.

§ 705.6. Bathrooms.

 The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Provide bathrooms to accommodate staff, residents and other users of the facility.

   (2)  Provide a sink, a wall mirror, an operable soap dispenser, and either individual paper towels or a mechanical dryer in each bathroom.

   (3)  Have hot and cold water under pressure. Hot water temperature may not exceed 120°F.

   (4)  Provide privacy in toilets by doors, and in showers and bathtubs by partitions, doors or curtains. There shall be slip-resistant surfaces in all bathtubs and showers.

   (5)  Ventilate toilet and wash rooms by exhaust fan or window.

   (6)  Provide toilet paper at each toilet at all times.

   (7)  Maintain each bathroom in a functional, clean and sanitary manner at all times.

§ 705.7. Food service.

 (a)  A residential facility shall provide meals to residents through onsite food preparation areas, a central food preparation area or contractual arrangements with vendors or caterers.

 (b)  A residential facility may operate a central food preparation area to provide food services to multiple facilities or locations. A residential facility that operates an onsite food preparation area or a central food preparation area shall:

   (1)  Have a food preparation area with a refrigerator, a sink, a stove, an oven and cabinet space for storage.

   (2)  Clean and disinfect food preparation areas and appliances following each prepared meal.

   (3)  Clean all eating, drinking and cooking utensils and all food preparation areas after each usage and store the utensils in a clean enclosed area.

   (4)  Ensure that storage areas for foods are free of food particles, dust and dirt.

   (5)  Keep cold food at or below 40°F, hot food at or above 140°F, and frozen food at or below O°F.

   (6)  Store all food items off the floor.

   (7)  Prohibit pets in the food preparation area.

   (8)  Prohibit smoking in food preparation areas.

§ 705.8. Heating and cooling.

 The residential facility:

   (1)  Shall have a heating and cooling ventilation system that is adequate to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 65°F in the winter. When indoor temperatures exceed 90°F, mechanical ventilation such as fans or air conditioning shall be used.

   (2)  May not permit in the facility heaters that are not permanently mounted or installed.

§ 705.9. General safety and emergency procedures.

 The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Be free of rodent and insect infestation.

   (2)  Require that pets housed in the residential facility are cared for in a safe and sanitary manner.

   (3)  Limit smoking to designated smoking areas.

   (4)  Provide written procedures for staff and residents to follow in case of an emergency which shall include provisions for:

     (i)   The evacuation and transfer of residents and staff to a safe location.

     (ii)   Assignments of staff during emergencies.

     (iii)   The evacuation and transfer of residents impaired by alcohol or other drugs.

   (5)  Notify the Department within 48 hours of a fire, other disaster or situation which affects the continuation of services.

§ 705.10. Fire safety.

 (a)  Exits.

   (1)  The residential facility shall:

     (i)   Ensure that stairways, hallways and exits from rooms and from the residential facility are unobstructed.

     (ii)   Maintain a minimum of two exits on every floor, including the basement, that are separated by a minimum distance of 15 feet.

     (iii)   Maintain each ramp, interior stairway and outside steps exceeding two steps with a well-secured handrail and maintain each porch that has over an 18-inch drop with a well-secured railing.

     (iv)   Clearly indicate exits by the use of signs.

     (v)   Light interior exits and stairs at all times.

   (2)  Portable ladders and rope escapes are not considered exits, but may be used in addition to standard exits.

 (b)  Smoke detectors and fire alarms. The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Maintain a minimum of one operable, automatic smoke detector on each floor, including the basement and attic.

   (2)  On floors with resident bedrooms, maintain a smoke detector which shall be located within 15 feet of each bedroom door. On floors with no resident bedrooms, the smoke detection device shall be located in a common area or hallway. All detection devices shall be interconnected.

   (3)  Repair inoperable smoke detectors or fire alarms within 48 hours of the time the detector or alarm is found to be inoperative.

   (4)  Maintain a manual fire alarm system that is audible throughout the facility in a residential facility where four or more residents reside.

   (5)  Maintain automatic smoke detectors and fire alarms of a type approved by the Department of Labor and Industry or by the Underwriters Laboratories.

   (6)  Maintain all smoke detectors and fire alarms so that each person with a hearing impairment will be alerted in the event of a fire, if one or more residents or staff persons are not able to hear the smoke detector or fire alarm system.

 (c)  Fire extinguisher. The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Maintain a portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of an ABC rating, which shall be located on each floor. If there is more than 2,000 square feet of floor space on a floor, the residential facility shall maintain an additional fire extinguisher for each 2,000 square feet or fraction thereof.

   (2)  Maintain at least one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of an ABC rating in each kitchen.

     (i)   This fire extinguisher shall meet the requirement of one portable fire extinguisher for a 2,000 square foot area.

     (ii)   The extinguisher shall be located near an exit and away from the cooking area.

   (3)  Ensure fire extinguishers are inspected and approved annually by the local fire department or fire extinguisher company. The date of the inspection shall be indicated on the extinguisher or inspection tag. If a fire extinguisher is found to be inoperable, it shall be replaced or repaired within 48 hours of the time it was found to be inoperable.

   (4)  Instruct all staff in the use of the fire extinguishers upon staff employment. This instruction shall be documented by the facility.

 (d)  Fire drills. The residential facility shall:

   (1)  Conduct unannounced fire drills at least once a month.

   (2)  Conduct fire drills during normal staffing conditions.

   (3)  Ensure that all personnel on all shifts are trained to perform assigned tasks during emergencies.

   (4)  Maintain a written fire drill record including the date, time, the amount of time it took for evacuation, the exit route used, the number of persons in the facility at the time of the drill, problems encountered and whether the fire alarm or smoke detector was operative.

   (5)  Conduct a fire drill during sleeping hours at least every 6 months.

   (6)  Prepare alternate exit routes to be used during fire drills.

   (7)  Conduct fire drills on different days of the week, at different times of the day and night and on different staffing shifts.

   (8)  Set off a fire alarm or smoke detector during each fire drill.

   (9)  Prohibit the use of elevators during a fire drill or a fire.

§ 705.11. Child care.

 When a residential facility admits children for services or for custodial care, the following requirements apply:

   (1)  Building exterior and grounds. The residential facility shall:

     (i)   Fence off or have natural barriers to protect children from all areas determined to be unsafe including steep grades, cliffs, open pits, swimming pools, high voltage boosters or roads.

     (ii)   Provide access to outdoor recreational space and recreational equipment.

   (2)  Interior space. The residential facility shall:

     (i)   Provide an interior play area which meets the developmental and recreational needs of the children in care.

     (ii)   Maintain security screens or safety locks for all operable windows.

     (iii)   Maintain protective caps over each electrical outlet.

     (iv)   Secure all hazardous and poisonous substances and materials with safety latches or locks.

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