Montreal

Quebec announces new sprinkler requirements for seniors' residences

The Quebec government is making automatic sprinklers mandatory in most seniors' residences following the coroner's report into the L'Isle-Verte tragedy.

Quebec government reacts to L'Isle-Verte coroner's report into tragedy that left 32 dead

A crane knocks down a wall after a fatal fire destroyed a seniors residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que., Thursday, January 23, 2014. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

The Quebec government is making automatic sprinklers mandatory in most seniors' residences following the coroner's report into the L'Isle-Verte tragedy.​

Labour Minister Sam Hamad made the announcement Tuesday in Quebec City.

"After L'Isle-Verte, we had the obligation to act to make sure such a tragedy never happens again," Hamad said.

Hamad said residences without sprinkler systems will have five years to install them. The province will provide up to $260 million in financial aid to help with the upgrades.

There are some exceptions.

Seniors' homes that accommodate a maximum of nine people and facilities with only one floor that do not include more than eight lodgings will be exempt from the new rules, he said. 

Quebec Labour Minister Sam Hamad announced the new regulations for seniors' homes on Tuesday. (Radio-Canada)
The coroner's report, released Feb. 12, looked into the factors that contributed to the deaths of 32 people after a fire swept through a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que., last January.

The wing of the Résidence du Havre​ that burned to the ground was not equipped with automatic sprinklers.

Making them mandatory was one of Coroner Cyrille Delâge​'s key recommendations.

Delâge​ had strong words last week for some owners of seniors' residences and politicians whom he said might be angry his recommendations will cost money, as retrofitting older homes with sprinklers can be quite costly.

"Let them (be angry) up until the moment that another disaster like this one happens again," he said.

"They'll have to explain to their constituents why they did nothing."

On Monday, the Quebec Association of Fire Chiefs said it agrees with many of the recommendations outlined in the report and urged the province to take swift action.

with files from Canadian Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.