Improving Fire Safety for Vulnerable Ontarians
McGuinty Government Takes Next Step In Fire Safety Consultation
Ontario's Fire Marshal will conduct a technical consultation to identify fire safety improvements in residences for seniors, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable Ontarians.
The technical consultation is a vital next step and builds on an earlier public consultation, in which fire services, municipalities, owners and operators of residences for vulnerable occupants, and advocacy groups were asked to comment on what steps could be taken to improve fire safety in these facilities. The public consultation identified some key areas for improvement, including:
- Enhanced inspections;
- Training for owners/operators and staff; and
- Installation of automatic sprinklers and other fire safety retrofits.
The Office of the Fire Marshal will invite key stakeholders to participate in an advisory group to examine long-term fire safety provisions for residences housing vulnerable Ontarians, including additional retrofits such as sprinklers, timing and implementation considerations, inspections, cost impacts and related amendments to the Ontario Fire Code.
The technical consultation will take up to 12 months to complete.
- Residences housing vulnerable Ontarians include retirement homes, long-term care homes, hospitals and group homes
- There are approximately 700 retirement homes, 400 long-term care facilities and 3,000 other homes that house vulnerable residents
- The ministry consultation on fire safety received 238 online responses and was followed up by roundtable discussions with key stakeholder groups
“Our government has taken strong action to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable citizens. We listened closely to experts and the public, and are looking forward to receiving additional technical advice. We will continue to work closely with our partners to improve fire safety in every home and residence across the province and appreciate the input that we have received to date.”
“I am pleased that we are moving forward on this very important public safety issue. This technical consultation will build on the information we have already gathered and help the government to finalize these improvements.”
Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek
“Fire safety for vulnerable Ontarians in care homes is an important issue for the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. We are pleased to see that the government is taking the next step by proceeding with this technical consultation. We have worked with them over the past week to launch these consultations and are looking forward to working with them in the future to improve fire safety for the residents in all care occupancies across the province”