Montreal

Quebec delays sprinkler requirement for private seniors' homes to 2022

Owners of privately owned Quebec retirement homes will have an extra two years to retrofit their residences with sprinkler systems.

Of 1,791 private homes in Quebec, just 799 equipped with sprinklers

Marguerite Blais, the province's seniors' minister, announced the new timeline for spinklers on Wednesday alongside Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault. (Sylvain Roy Roussel/CBC)

Owners of privately owned Quebec retirement homes will have an extra two years to retrofit their residences with sprinkler systems.

The Quebec government also announced Thursday they'll provide quicker and better financial help to owners to get the work completed.

Marguerite Blais, the province's seniors' minister, says a program put in place in 2015 has failed and measures needed to be taken to accelerate the pace, as only half of residences have been retrofitted with sprinklers so far.

The province moved to oblige all private seniors' homes to install sprinklers in the wake of a major fire in January 2014 that claimed the lives of 32 seniors in L'Isle-Verte, Que.

Owners of the residences will now have until December 2022 — instead of December 2020 — to install sprinkler systems which can cost as much as $300,000.

There are 1,791 such private residences in Quebec, and just 799 are equipped with sprinklers.

Blais says there were a number of irritants in the previous Liberal government's program — particularly in terms of financial assistance — which led some owners to shut down rather that make the costly change.

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