As rescue crews continue to comb through the frozen rubble at a seniors’ home in eastern Quebec after deadly fire, many people are reflecting on fire safety of seniors’ homes across the country.
The Canadian Association of Retired Persons, an organization that advocates for older Canadians, is calling for an end to what it describes as Canada’s patchwork safety rules for seniors’ homes.
Susan Eng, vice-president for advocacy at CARP, said that although there is a wide range of fire regulations on new homes, only a few provinces have regulations on retrofitting.
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“When you say that the newly built homes have to have fire doors, safety zones, fire drills etc., why don’t the older homes have to have that?” she told CBC News.
“The worst thing is we, actually, not only know what we should be doing, we have the technology to do it and it’s not outrageously expensive.”
An early-morning fire ripped through a seniors’ home in the small Quebec community of L’Isle-Verte Thursday, killing at least 10 people. Twenty two people are still considered missing, officials said Saturday.
Much of the destruction took place in the older wing of the residence, where it was reported that there were no sprinklers.
Eng said fire safety for seniors’ homes needs to be a coast-to-coast initiative led by the federal government, with coordination among the provinces and territories.
Watch the full interview with Susan Eng by clicking the video.