© Canadian Press photo
Fire engulfs a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que., early Thursday, Jan.23, 2014.
Seniors living in community care facilities and nursing homes in Prince Edward Island are well protected from fire, says the provincial fire marshal.
Dave Rossiter says working sprinkler systems have been in place in such buildings, both provincially and privately run facilities, in P.E.I. for more than 15 years.
“When you look at P.E.I. compared to the rest of the nation, we have probably been ahead of the game for some time now,’’ he says. “We have done all that we possibly can do to reduce that risk.’’
Rossiter was responding Tuesday to The Guardian’s questions about the safety of nursing homes in P.E.I. in light of the fatal fire that ripped through a Quebec seniors’ home in L’isle Verte last week where 17 have been confirmed dead and 15 more remain missing.
Rossiter says inspections are done annually on all the community care facilities and nursing homes in the province. Owners are required to prove the sprinkler systems have been serviced within the year and are in good working order.
Rossiter says sprinkler systems are effective in combating fires.
“It’s like having your own personal fire department in your own building,’’ he says. “It hits the fire in the early stages and often knocks it out.’’
Inspectors from the fire marshal’s office also do a walkthrough of the entire facilities when visiting nursing homes and community care facilities in P.E.I. They pay particular attention to high-hazard areas like boiler rooms.
Owners of these facilities must also ensure all smoke detectors are in working order, adds Rossiter.