Foster Care Home Inspections
As part of the Foster Care approval process, the Fire Department is requested to verify that the home is in compliance with any applicable fire prevention codes and regulations. A home fire safety inspection is therefore normally part of this process.
In most instances, Fire Department approval is contingent on the presence of smoke detectors, house numbers and a properly maintained sprinkler system, if present. The loss of life and property in the single-family dwelling has long been a major concern for our department. We therefore welcome the opportunity to make recommendations to improve life and fire safety in homes. The intent of these recommendations is to provide the homeowner with guidance to minimize loss of life and property, and also serves as guidance for the applicable approving agency as to whether the applicant can provide a safe environment for a child.
Requests for Inspections
Requests for an inspection of a home as part of Foster Care approval process, should be made in writing to:
Anne Arundel County
Fire Marshal Division
Heritage Office Park
2660 Riva Road, Suite 290
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
ATTN: Foster Care Inspection Coordinator
The request must be from the government or private agency handling the placement of the child, not from the prospective home. Inspection requests received directly from a foster care applicant will not be accepted. If from a private agency, it must be on the agency’s letterhead with their Maryland State license number listed. Names and address of the foster care provider(s) and their home and work numbers must also be listed.
Once the request is received in this office, it will be processed and issued to the closest available County fire station. Personnel from that station will contact the applicant(s) and arrange for a mutually agreeable time for the inspection. This could be a day, evening or weekend appointment, but it is important to remember that the inspection process may be interrupted at any time should the Fire Department unit be dispatched to an emergency call.
Program mandates require a quick turn around for these types of inspections, usually about two to three weeks from the time the request is received at the Fire Marshal Division. If deficiencies are found during the inspection, additional time may be needed. The Fire Department inspectors will make one initial inspection and only one re-inspection. It is the provider’s responsibility to contact the personnel at the fire station who performed the inspection to come back for the re-inspection within two weeks.
If there are uncorrected deficiencies or no call back from the provider after the two-week period, the request form is returned to the Fire Marshal Division. From there it is sent back to the requesting agency as “Unapproved”. Likewise, when making initial contact, the fire station personnel will try to call the provider(s) for up to two weeks with the numbers listed. If after that time - and at least three documented attempts - there is no response from the applicants, the request is returned to the Fire Marshal Division as “Unapproved”.
After the inspection and re-inspection process is completed, a completed copy of the inspection form is left with the provider. The original is returned to the Fire Marshal Division, where it is processed and forwarded to the requesting agency.
Additional questions pertaining to an upcoming inspection or requirements should be directed to the Fire Marshal Division at (410) 222-7884.