Fire Clearance For State Licensed Facilities

Fire clearances are required by the Health and Safety Code prior to initial licensing or before any changes to a licensed facility can be approved by the State, such as increasing the number of clients. State-licensed care facilities require a fire safety inspection (or fire clearance) to be conducted by the local fire authority. Facilities requiring these inspections include: day care, residential care for the elderly or disabled, health care facilities or drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities.

Please Note: The County Fire Marshal’s Office can only inspect your facility if you are located in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County, and that fees may apply.

PRE-INSPECTION: Prior to your application to a State licensing agency you may request that the County Fire Marshal’s Office conduct a Pre-Inspection to help you identify any possible changes needed to meet the requirements for your particular facility. A Licensed Care Fire Clearance Application, along with site and floor plans, is required, in addition to the applicable fees.

View Standard CFMO-S1 for more details on requirements for our jurisdiction: Large Family Day Care Standard

Local Permits May Be Required:
Your care facility may need County Zoning, Building or Fire Code permits in addition to your State license. It is important that you find out as soon as possible if any other permits are required because the Fire Marshal’s Office cannot issue a fire clearance until all agencies' requirements have been met.  To avoid delays in receiving your fire clearance contact the departments listed below:

  • Department of Planning and Development: (408) 299-5700

NOTICE: A Building Permit for a change of occupancy classification may be required for new facilities. Contact the Building Inspection Office as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.

  • Fire Code permits from our office are required for any alteration to a fire protection (sprinkler) system, fire alarm system, or the installation of fuel tanks. See our Construction page for details.

The County Fire Marshal’s Office charges fees for inspection of facilities with more than 6 clients. There are no fees charged for inspection of facilities with six (6) or less clients. See our FEES page Fixed Fee Chart under Miscellaneous FMO Fees for complete Fire Clearance fee information.

Submittal Requirements:
Prior to scheduling an inspection, we will need the following:

  • IMPORTANT: A Fire Safety Inspection Request Form (STD 850) must be received from a State licensing agency for all INITIAL FIRE CLEARANCES.

    Exceptions: A Fire Safety Inspection Request Form (STD 850) is not required for pre-inspections, however please complete an application for a pre-inspection.

    Applicants for facilities licensed by Alcohol & Drug Programs may download and submit this completed form.
  • A completed Licensed Care Fire Clearance Application Form.
  • A Dimensional site plan showing all buildings on site, driveways, setbacks from property lines, and distances between buildings. Include fenced areas and exit path to the street.
  • A Floor plan of the building that shows all rooms, interior and exterior doors, windows, bedrooms, common use areas, attached garages, etc. Indicate the use of each room on the plan.
  • Information and location of all smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations and bells, fire sprinkler system components such as risers, inspector test valve, Fire Department Connection (FDC), location, capacity and type of fire protection water tank and hydrant, if applicable.
  •  Fees.

Residential Care Facilities in addition to the items listed above, provide the following:

  • Number and location of client bedrooms. Please specify how many clients are ambulatory vs. non-ambulatory and the location of their respective bedrooms.
  • Location of any ramps for all interior and exterior changes in elevation for all exit paths, including slope, handrails, guardrails.

Scheduling Inspections:
Contact our office at least 72 hours in advance to schedule your inspection at (408) 341-4420.


California Department of Social Services
Community Care Licensing
2580 N. First Street, Ste. 350
San Jose CA 95131
(408) 324-2112

California Department of Health Care Services
Substance Use Disorder Services
1501 Capitol Ave, MS 4000
PO Box 997413
Sacramento, California 95899-7413
Phone: (916) 332-7012

California Department of Public Health
Licensing and Certification
P.O. Box 997377, MS 3000
Sacramento, California, 95899-7377
(800) 236-9747

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