Are Care Homes in BC Safe?

The recent tragedy at the Résidence du Havre seniors' home in L'Isle-Verte Quebec has raised questions about the safety of care homes across Canada.  UBCM is working with the Ministry of Health, BC Care Providers Association, BC Fire Chief's Association and a number of other agencies to identify the fire safety risks of care homes in British Columbia. 

The Ministry of Health has identified a number of care homes and assisted living residences that have no sprinklers or a partial system in place.  The ministry has engaged a consultant to undertake a risk analysis of the identified homes and what can be done to mitigate the problems to ensure the continued safety of seniors in care.

The Province has indicated that the majority of care homes and assisted living residences have full sprinkler systems in place.  Only 6 per cent of BC's residential care facilities do not have sprinklers – that's 10 of 361 facilities and another 12 are partially sprinklered.  In addition, only 2 percent of BC's assisted living residences do not have sprinklers – that's 5 of 212 facilities and another eight are partially sprinklered.  All new residential care facilities and assisted living facilities are required to be built to the current B.C. Building Code standards and all licensed residential care facilities built since 1996 have been built with sprinkler systems and most of the older residential care facilities have been retrofitted.

UBCM continues to work collaboratively with the Ministry of Health and other members of the working group to map out possible next steps to ensure the safety of seniors in care homes.

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