Fire Prevention in Retirement Homes

Fire Prevention has become a top priority in retirement homes especially due to the number of retirement home fires in recent history.

Sprinklers in retirement homes

With the recent tragedy at Residence du Haure in Quebec, the increasing number of fires in Canadian retirement homes is a real concern for residents and their families. What are retirement residences, and the government doing to prevent these catastrophes from happening?

A new law within Ontario’s Fire Protection and Prevention Act was passed and put into effect January 1st, 2014. This law requires all retirement homes in the province of Ontario to have fully functional, automatic water sprinkler systems. This is a step forward to ensure that the 51,000+ senior citizens who live in Ontario retirement homes are safe and well protected.

Fire safety is an important component in ensuring that senior residents are protected in their retirement communities. “We have been an active and responsive participant in the multi-sector effort to enhance fire safety province wide,” says Laurie Johnston, CEO at the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA). “Significant progress has been made over the past year and we look forward to continuing to work with government and stakeholders to both enhance and promote fire safety in retirement homes in a meaningful and practical way,” Johnston said.

ORCA’s website is one of many in the industry offering sincere condolences to the victims of the tragedy at Residence du Haure. For more information on ORCA please feel free to visit their website at

How can you protect yourself and your loved ones from the unthinkable? When looking for a retirement community, asking the right questions, keep your eye out for fire safety indicators and choose a residence accordingly.

-       Is there a working, automatic sprinkler system in the building?

-       Are there fire extinguishers on all floors?

-       Does the community practice regular fire drills?

-       What emergency evacuation procedures are in place for residences with mobility challenges?

-       Do you know where the fire exits are?

-       Are smoke detectors properly installed and tested on a regular basis?

-       Are emergency numbers posted near telephones?


If you are interested in familiarizing yourself with the Fire Protection and Prevention Act check out this link:


Written By: Jordan Coutinho, Our Kids Media

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