July 27, 2012 – CARP attended the Ontario government’s announcement that it is expediting the fire safety technical consultations regarding nursing and retirement homes built prior to the implementation of the 1997 Fire Safety and Prevention Act. As of now, nursing and retirement homes built prior to 1998 are not legally required to have built in fire sprinklers.
The initial technical consultation was started in April 2012, led by the Office of the Fire Marshal, but the province has been under added pressure to ensure fire safety in older nursing and retirement homes after the tragic and deadly fire at Place Mont-Roc home in Hawkesbury, earlier this spring. The consultations will be expedited by four months to ensure that recommendations can be acted upon sooner rather than later. From the consultations, the technical advisory committee will make recommendations on fire safety strategy that places an emphasis on the installation of sprinklers in retirement homes, long-term care facilities, and homes housing vulnerable individuals.
Minister Meilleur made it clear that requiring sprinkler retrofits is only one part of a comprehensive fire safety strategy. CARP endorses this approach and will work to ensure that all nursing and retirement homes are covered as soon as possible by a comprehensive fire safety strategy that includes all crucial components necessary for ensuring the safety of seniors in nursing and retirement homes.
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