Twelve of 61 retirement homes in the Ottawa are listend in the Retirement Homes Regulatory registry — or about 1 in 5 — have no automatic sprinklers installed in their suites, according to provincial data..

The Ontario government recently started requiring owners of retirement homes to be licensed, and one of the things the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority tracks is whether suites in the homes have automatic sprinklers.

The deadly fire at a retirement home northeast of Quebec City has many people talking about fire safety in facilities where seniors live.

The home in L'Isle Verte is reported to have had only a partial sprinkler system, and police say it's too early to say whether that system was functioning properly.

Older homes have until 2019 to install sprinklers

In May 2013, the Ontario government made changes to its fire and building codes to try to better protect vulnerable people in case of fire.

The province said it's the first in Canada to make it mandatory all retirement homes and long-term care facilities to have automatic sprinklers.

The regulation took effect on Jan. 1 this year, and many older facilities will have to undergo costly retrofits.

While all new facilities must have sprinklers, older facilities have until 2019 to install the sprinklers.

Homes will have to meet code in other ways too, such as putting self-closing doors on suites and having a system in place to signal the fire department about smoke and fire.