After Quebec Senior Home Tragedy, Sprinkler Ordinance May Speed Up

Posted: 1/27/2014

It was reported that the fire-ridden senior living facility in Quebec was not fully sprinklered, causing the massive growth of the fire.  As it turns out, most retirement facilities in Ontario have sprinklers; however, any built before 1998 pre-date this ordinance.  According to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services update in May, 2013, all licensed retirement homes still have five years to install sprinklers.  Some have eleven years to install their fire sprinklers to coincide with redevelopment plans scheduled to be completed by 2025.

NDP MPP Paul Miller introduced a private member's bill in 2012 that would require all senior residences and long-term care facilities to have fire sprinklers installed within five years.  However, it has not passed.  He says, "Six people died from the first time I mentioned this in the legislator until now, and Ontario had the worst record in North America for fatalities in retirement facilities....It's nothing to be proud of."

Owners of these facilities argued that the cost would be prohibitive.  They convinced the government to have a longer phase-in for facilities that were scheduled to renovate or rebuild, so the timing would coincide.

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