Wednesday, January 21, 2009

sprinkler systems in retirement homes

In a recent news item, two residents were killed, and 8 are in hospital after a fire ripped through a retirement home in Orillia.
Before we demand changes, as a Liberal & an NDP MPP demand, we need to think this through. in terms of sprinkler systems is wise. I think the cause of the fire, with 10 investigators I have high hopes, has to be established. I wonder if more money should go into ensuring that multi-story residences have adequate fire barriers within walls, up to date wiring, and meet building codes. Current legislation calls for LTC care homes of four storeys or more to have sprinklers.

Firstly, we must establish the difference between LTC and retirement homes. The clientele is vastly different, and both are governed by a different Act. The former, the LTC Act, and the latter, the Landlord Tenant Act. The clients are incredibly different. What with the fires in private homes, I think this is a knee-jerk reaction that can have severe repercussions for these private residences.

My father, in his dementia, pulled the fire alarm once in his LTC home. It was very strange - his call for help. And I am not sure that sprinkler systems are the way to go. Retrofitting will up the costs to tenants, with costs that will have to be absorbed by residents. Much damage is done by smoke far before fire kills anyone.

Mr. McGuinty has promised that, "all new multiple-residence buildings over three storeys would need sprinklers." and I can see this being a good idea in this specific location. I want a sprinkler system in my house, as one MPP demands? I think not. Not only would it add to my building costs, but would destroy my home in the event of a false alarm, and increase my house insurance costs at the same time.

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