So you’re wondering what you’ll have to do to meet State requirements when opening a B&B in Maine?
First determine how many bedrooms will be available for rent. You are allowed to rent to 3 non-family members without requiring State approval. At 2 people per bed, that equals 1 bedroom. (The 2nd rental bedroom might include a 4th person). Once you are set up to rent more than 8 beds, (16 people), then the occupancy changes from the B & B classification of Rooming & Lodging to Hotel. Hotel use has more stringent requirements than does Rooming and Lodging.
Second, obtain a permit from our office to document that your plans will adhere to State law, and the 1997 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code...
FULL TEXT OF THE FIRE MARSHALL'S RULE
Means of Egress and Sprinkler Systems
The Maine Innkeepers Association successfully initiated legislation in the first year of the 120th Legislature that allows two-story B&Bs and inns that sleep fewer than 16 people to have a single exit rather than two means of egress from every room if the building is protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system and meets all other requirements of NFPA Life Safety Code 101. This legislation actually removes the term "boarding house or lodging house" from the statute mandating the second means of egress. It had previously appeared following the term "hotel" toward the top of the section.
For more information regarding sprinkler systems, visit the State Fire Marshall's web site by clicking here.