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Baseboard Heaters

PDF Version of BQA 01-023 (PDF, 16 KB)

Date: May 21, 2001 -- DSL-BQA-01-023

To: Community Based Residential Facilities CBRF - 12, Nursing Homes NH - 14, Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled FDD - 10, Residential Care Apartment Complexes RCAC - 10

From: La Vern Woodford, Chief, Resident Care Review Section
Susan Schroeder, Director, Bureau of Quality Assurance

Baseboard heaters can present a danger to certain residents. Current regulations allow listed and properly installed heaters to be designed in accordance with the state building code. However, the Departmentís administrative codes state that certain residents, who are not able to ensure their own safety, must be reasonably protected from hazards by the facility. The pertinent regulations are cited below:

  • Community Based Residential Facilities (CBRF):

    • HFS 83.21 (4) (w) (exit DHFS) Safe Environment: The CBRF shall safeguard residents who cannot fully guard themselves from an environmental hazard to which it is likely that they will be exposed, and conditions which are hazardous to the resident because of the residentís condition or handicap.

  • Residential Care Apartment Complexes (RCAC):

    • HFS 89.34 (17) (exit DHFS) Right of Tenants to a safe environment in which to live.

  • Nursing Homes and Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled:

    • 42 CFR 483.25 (h) (1) (exit DHFS) Quality of Care: The facility must ensure that the resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible.

The facility must assess each individual resident for their susceptibility to environmental hazards. If a resident is highly susceptible to environmental hazards and a heater is experiencing excessive surface temperatures the facility shall take steps to provide for the safety of the resident.

Facilities are required to properly maintain and monitor the operation of these heaters. Periodic measurements of surface temperatures and removal of malfunctioning equipment is highly recommended. Our Bureau engineers will also pay particular attention to the type of heaters and clearances allowed during plan review or facility inspections.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact David R. Soens, P.E., Engineering Consultant, at (608) 261-5993.

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