Monday, June 1, 2015

Tale of the Fire Alarms

The month of December we received a letter from the Department of Social Services. The letter was dated months before but we just received it in time for the holidays. The letter informed us that we now had to have interconnected fire alarms in all areas.  Oh, ad if we purchased them before December 31st we could submit for reimbursement of up to $200.

December, Christmas, many children to include foster child equaled no way to afford them at that time.  We hoped that we would complete our case before the next fire inspection.


We received a letter in the mail telling us that we were going to have a fire inspection in 5 days.  It was early.  I didn't even get my fire extinguisher reinspected because it hasn't expired yet.

We went out and purchased 8 new fire alarms.  Those interconnected fire alarms are not cheap, we spent close to $400 on them and will not get reimbursed.

I took most of the old alarms down and gave them to a friend who had none in her home.  There is one area in the upstairs hallway where I keep our collection.

1. Original wired fire alarms.  We were told we had to have battery operated.
2. Battery operated alarms.
3. Carbon monoxide detector we had to have as we failed a fire inspection for not having it.
4. New interconnected fire alarm.

We had a heck of a time getting them synced.  We failed the inspection but were told that once we got them synced she would come back to check them. We have 90 days to make corrections when we fail an inspection.  If we do not make corrections in that time our license is revoked. 

I finally got them to talk together and let DSS know.  Last night I was told that she would be back on the morning of June 10th.  Well, I won't be here, we have TPR court date that morning.  Hopefully my moms caretaker can be here for that or they will need to reschedule again.

From what I understand our state has a shortage of foster parents.  One big issue is window size.  On July 1st the rules are supposed to change.  Foster homes will either need window size, interconnected fire alarms or sprinkler systems.  We meet the window sizes and had thought of letting the fire inspection ride until July 1st (within the 90 day limit).  However, we decided that we didn't want anything to impede our possible adoption of Little Man.

I am curious, any other states making these changes?


  1. Our state recently started requiring interconnected alarms as well. Thankfully mine were already wired together due to the fact that my house was built fairly recently.

  2. Ok... So I am married to a fire fighter/EMT/home inspector and we are totally going to fail the fire inspection for our adoption, totally. I guess they'll let us know what we need to have when they come for the home visit.... I didn't even see anything about a fire extinguisher on the list. (But we both know we could have one.)

    1. We have to have a specific type of fire extinguisher and have it inspected annually. Basically I take it to the local fire extinguisher business and they charge me $15 to put a new tag on it. We also had to buy an escape ladder for the foster baby room because he is on the second floor. I realized the other day that I had put it so high up in his closet that I couldn't reach it if I needed it. I don't think that the baby could either.

    2. Since we are just starting out, I sure hope they give us a specific list of what needs doing!

      About the ladder, there is a B&B we like to stay at in Mentone, AL and the 2nd floor room has a neat little box built just below the window with the hanging ladder bundled up inside it. All our windows are on ground level, but I'd use that trick if I needed it. You've got some mad crafting skills. I bet you could make one. :-)