Foster Care

New Hampshire Law RSA 170-E:34 requires that a foster home be inspected by the local fire department and that the fire code for a single family residence shall be applied by local fire departments in their review of compliance for family homes.

Before calling the Bedford Fire Department for a foster care inspection please take a few minutes to review the information on this page to familiarize yourself with the general items that the inspector will be reviewing during the inspection.

Once you are confident that you are ready for an inspection, call the Bedford Fire Department Risk Management Division (603) 472-3219 ext. 6 to schedule your inspection. Please note that you will also need to complete an inspection with the Bedford Health Officer, they can be reached at (603) 472-3219 ext. 1. 

- The home shall have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. 

- The home shall have at least two ways out from each floor level. The primary means of escape shall be a door, stairway or ramp that provides a path of travel to the outside of the home. The secondary means of escape can be an appropriately sized window (see below for size requirements).
- A window in the designated sleeping room of the home shall open to a size that allows an occupant to escape and a firefighter to enter. Windows in existing homes must open to a minimum of 4.5 square feet. The height of the window opening can be no less that 24" and the width of the opening can be no less that 20". The sill of the window cannot be higher than 44" above the finished floor. 
- No living spaces shall be accessible only by ladder or folding stairs. (This does not include bunk beds.)

- The basement exit shall lead directly to ground level (only if used for sleeping). There must be a doorway at ground level, bulkhead stairs are not permissible.

- All doors in the travel path to an exit shall be a minimum of 28" in width.

- All the closet doors in the home shall be operable from the inside.

- All electrical outlets, switches, and junction boxes shall have covers.

- GFCI outlets (or circuits) shall be installed by all sinks, showers and bathtubs. The National Electrical Code requires any outlet within 6' of a water source to have GFCI protection.

- The home shall be identified by a street number. The numbers can be on the home or mailbox provided they are visible from both directions. The numbers must be a minimum of 4" and a color that contrasts with the background.

It is recommended:
- That the home have a minimum of  1 (one) fire extinguisher.
- All heating sources are installed and maintained in a safe manner.
- The home have a written evacuation plan.