STATEMENT FROM TIM BECKETT, PRESIDENT ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS

Fire in Timmins Reinforces Need for Mandatory Sprinklers in Care Occupancies

AJAX, ON, April 4 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), I want to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the resident who perished and to the people who were driven from their home in the Rainbow Suite Retirement Home fire in Timmins, Ontario.

Unfortunately, this preventable tragedy further reinforces the OAFC's message that automatic fire sprinklers save lives. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that there have been no multi-fatality fire deaths in care occupancies that are protected by sprinklers.

Since 1980, 41 seniors have perished due to fires in care occupancies.  Furthermore many of Ontario's most vulnerable have been left homeless and lost all of their belongings.

The Ontario Government is currently in the midst of A Consultation on Fire Safety for Vulnerable Residents in Ontario.  The OAFC is hopeful these consultations will result in inclusion of mandatory automatic fire sprinkler retrofit for those retirement homes that do not currently have them installed.

In addition, the OAFC is calling on all members of the Ontario Legislature to help pass Bill 92: Mandating Sprinklers in All Ontario Retirement Homes Act, 2010.

These care occupancies are entrusted with the care of our most vulnerable citizens: our parents, grandparents and people with special needs.  To many, these buildings are institutions. To their residents, they are home. In addition, non sprinklered buildings are a threat to the safety of the public, visitors, facility staff and emergency services personnel responding to the fire.

We hope that the government will recognize that automatic fire sprinklers must be mandated in all seniors residential buildings, including retirement homes and care facilities.

SOURCE Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

For further information:

Chief Tim Beckett
President
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs
tim.beckett@kitchener.ca
519-741-2926

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Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

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