The following is a communique that has been approved Ministry of Health and the BC Care Providers Association
Update on Fire Safety for BC Licensed Residential Care Facilities and Registered Assisted Living Residences
December 11, 2014
On November 17, 2014, an Ad-Hoc Committee established in February of this year met to address issues relating to fire safety in B.C. residential and assisted living care homes. In particular, the Committee discussed the recently finalized Fire Safety Assessment Report and Action Plan to address the findings of the review. The committee, consisting of representatives from the health authorities, Ministry of Health, Union of BC Municipalities, BC Care Providers Association, BC Seniors Living Association, Denominational Health Association, fire safety organizations and various fire departments, reviewed the contents of the Report and Action Plan in detail.
The Report summarizes key findings of assessments conducted during site visits to seniors’ residential care facilities and registered seniors’ assisted living residences that did not have full sprinkler systems. It also provides several recommendations for addressing deficiencies identified during the assessment process. Some of the recommendations outlined in the Report include: having appropriate fire safety plans; installing or repairing fire-rated doors; providing additional smoke detectors and visual alarms; replacing outdated or aging fire safety equipment; and, reviewing night staffing levels in residential care.
Committee representatives were pleased with the nine-point Action Plan outlined in the Report, which the Ministry of Health has put in place to address the findings of the review. The Action Plan addresses the deficiencies found in building assessments as well as recommends several steps to increase awareness and compliance with fire safety planning, and take longer term steps to ensure risk levels can be more adequately measured and mitigated. Implementation of the Action Plan is already underway, and progress will be monitored by the Ministry of Health. A copy of the Report is available by clicking here.
With the work of the Ad-Hoc Fire Safety Committee largely completed, the group is now winding down. Thanks to the collaborative work, we are creating a strong foundation for ensuring fire safety for those who live and work in BC licensed residential care facilities and registered seniors’ assisted living residences.
Daniel Fontaine, CEO
BC Care Providers Association
Doug Hughes, ADM
Ministry of Health