Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Keeping Ontario's Seniors Safe
Ontario is taking steps to ensure residents of retirement and long-term care homes are safe during fire emergencies.
The government is committed to ensuring that more retirement and long-term care homes are equipped with sprinklers. Last month Premier McGuinty met with members of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs to discuss sprinklers and other ways to ensure fire safety.
In April, Ontario created a technical advisory committee that will make recommendations on a multi-pronged strategy for fire safety that includes installation of sprinklers in retirement homes, long-term care facilities and homes housing vulnerable individuals, along with other measures such as training, inspections and automatic door closers.
The government has expedited this process by four months to make sure the technical committee delivers its initial recommendations in the fall and has committed to making sure more retirement and long-term care homes across the province are equipped with sprinklers.
This is one more way the McGuinty government is working to improve quality of life for Ontario's seniors. This includes passing the Retirement Homes Act that regulates retirement homes and puts in place new measures to protect residents, and introducing the proposed Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit that will help more seniors stay in their homes longer.
"It's important that we protect our most vulnerable citizens, and sprinklers will help us achieve that. As part of a larger fire safety plan at retirement and long-term care homes across Ontario, sprinklers will keep seniors and other residents safe and give confidence to their families."
- Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
"The McGuinty government is committed to protecting Ontario's seniors. Our seniors have made an incredible contribution to our province. They took care of us and now it's our responsibility to ensure they are safe and well cared for."
- Linda Jeffrey, Minister Responsible for Seniors
"I am pleased that the government is making this issue a priority. The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs is committed to expediting the work of the technical advisory committee to provide workable recommendations that help improve fire safety for Ontario seniors."
- Kevin Foster, President of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs
- The Office of the Fire Marshal began technical consultations in April 2012 with one year to complete its work. This work has been expedited, with recommendations now expected in the fall of 2012.
- Approximately 40,000 Ontario seniors live in an estimated 700 retirement homes. The technical consultation will also look at 400 long-term care facilities and 3,000 other homes for vulnerable residents.
- There are over 76,000 residents in Ontario's long-term care homes.