Only one-third of Manitoba's hospitals have full fire sprinkler systems installed, while about a third of them have none, prompting at least one municipal leader to demand changes.
Sprinklers in hospitals
Of 75 hospitals in total, 26 have full sprinkler systems installed, 27 have partial systems and 22 have no sprinkler coverage, according to provincial government information obtained by CBC News.
Many of the hospitals with partial coverage are multi-building complexes where patients are only seen in specific areas, according to the province.
Among the facilities that don't have sprinklers is the hospital in Morris — a finding that surprised the town's mayor.
"When we go to hospital, we expect a certain level of care, and with that level of care we should expect ourselves and our loved ones to be safe," said Gavin van der Linde.
"Without sprinklers in a hospital with that many sick people, that's waiting for a disaster to happen."
It's currently not mandatory for hospitals in Manitoba to have sprinkler systems installed, although the provincial government says a task force is examining the issue.
Some facilities to be retrofitted
Health Minister Erin Selby said the task force is looking into which facilities should be retrofitted to include fire sprinklers.
"They're the experts on this. They're going to tell us what is the best place to do and the priority places to start," she said.
However, Selby would not say if the government plans to retrofit all of the province's hospitals.
Van der Linde said he wants the province to come up with a five-year plan to retrofit all hospitals to the same standards.
"It's one of those areas that should be a high priority for assigning some safety and security budget to," he said.
- Most Manitoba care homes with no sprinklers are in rural areas
- Map of sprinkler coverage among personal care homes
Earlier this year, CBC News reported that dozens of personal care homes throughout the province do not have sprinkler systems.
Since 1998, Manitoba's building code has required all newly built or extensively renovated care homes to have full sprinkler systems installed.
However, the government does not require older facilities to be retrofitted to meet the same standards — even though six other provinces do have such requirements.