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Understanding Fire Safety in Ontario Senior Residences

Understanding Fire Safety in Ontario Senior Residences
April 8, 2016 emeraldliving

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When you are looking for the right seniors residence in Niagara for yourself or a loved one, their safety is your number one priority. At Emerald Retirement Residence, our focus is on exactly that — keeping our senior residents safe, comfortable and healthy.

If you are considering a long-term care or retirement home in Niagara, consider their fire safety standards when touring the facility, and ask the right questions to ensure you decide on the safest home for you or your loved one.

Fire safety questions to ask at retirement homes

  1. Has the retirement home had a recent fire safety inspection by the fire department? When did this happen?
  2. What do you do to ensure the residence is well maintained?
  3. Do you ensure all doors and hallways are clear and easy to move through?
  4. Are there appropriate fire safety features in place, including:
    • Alternative exits
    • Smoke alarms (visual and auditory)
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Fire alarm and sprinkler system
  5. Is there a fire department approved fire safety plan in place? How often do you review and practice?
  6. What kind of fire safety training do your staff receive?
  7. How do you determine your residents’ ability to evacuate in the event of a fire?
  8. Are there enough staff available to assist all residents to carry out a safe and successful escape plan if there is a fire?

Ontario Retirement Communities Association fire safety regulations

The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) introduced new fire safety regulations in 2013 for all Ontario retirement homes to ensure the safety of Ontario seniors living in these facilities across the province. These regulations include:

  • Mandatory sprinklers
  • Self-closing doors
  • Enhanced inspections and training
  • Annual validation of fire safety plans by local fire departments