Fire safety a constant focus at Vancouver nursing homes

Fatal Quebec fire brings flood of questions to elder care facilities

By Healthcare Facilities Today
February 14, 2014

Don Denton/Victoria News

While residents themselves are rarely aware of it, fire drills are an ongoing and critical safety component at long-term care facilities in Saanich, British Columbia, according to a story in the Victoria News website.

With 225 beds, plus programs for mobility-challenged individuals aged 19 to 55, staff at Broadmead Care regularly run through drills to ensure they’re well prepared in the event of a fire. Audible drills are conducted on a minimum quarterly basis and an evacuation drill is conducted on a minimum annual basis.

Because Broadmead has non-ambulant residents with dementia, it conducts silent drills in which staff carry out a scenario without ever sounding the alarm, but rehearse the response so it becomes routine, the article said.

According to the article, senior homes across the region are hearing from family members in the wake of a recent fire in Quebec that left 14 seniors dead, and another 18 missing and presumed dead. Only part of the three-story wood building was equipped with sprinklers.

Group B homes, classified as having residents who are incapable of evacuating without assistance, require monthly drills. Regulations also require that employees be trained in the plan and they have a copy of the emergency plan displayed in the facility.'

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said all care homes are built to B.C. Building Code standards, which includes having sprinklers.

Broadmead has other small checks are in place, according to the article. Staff examine electronics when residents moves in, and families are encouraged to purchase fire resistant clothing and blankets for their loved ones. Christmas lights are also limited to common areas.

Read the article.



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