Fire sprinkler

Of the province's 153 licensed facilities, 28 of them — one nursing home and 27 long-term care facilities — do not have sprinklers. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's fire marshal is set to launch a review of dozens of buildings across the province that do not have sprinklers, in light of a massive blaze at a seniors' home in Quebec that killed at least 27 people last month.

Of the province's 153 licensed facilities, 28 of them — one nursing home and 27 long-term care facilities — do not have sprinklers.

"These facilities are — I won't say old — but they're before the legislative requirement for sprinkler systems," said Harold Pothier, the province's fire marshal.

Some of the licensed facilities are simple family homes, while others are much larger. They house anywhere from three to 51 residents, according to the Department of Health and Wellness.

In all, 444 people live in the buildings without sprinklers.

Pothier said these buildings require other methods of fire protection and evacuation, including training of staff, fire doors, alarms, lights and extinguishers.

He said the review will cover all those items.

"The fire drills, the evacuation plan itself. We'll be looking at the time of day that they're conducted, the staffing ratios," Pothier said.

"It could be that they are required to have additional staffing. It could be required that that they have to have additional fire protection."

Depending on what the review finds, Pothier said he may order sprinklers to be installed in some of the buildings or move patients to other facilities that have them if he thinks that's safer.

"We just want to go forward and see if there's anything additional that needs to be done, what can be done additionally to ensure that we have everything in place," he told CBC News.

"We're confident that we have good evacuation plans in these facilities, but we want to do a full review to make sure that that is in fact and how can we improve upon that."