When choosing a nursing home for loved ones, the last thing on our minds is fire safety. Proper medical care, reliable staff, and comfortable housing in line with budgets and up to family standards are difficult enough to find, but a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has shown that 52,000 US nursing home residents are without appropriate fire safety standards.
In 2008, the CMS made sprinkler systems of a certain standard mandatory in all nursing home facilities: not-for-profit, for-profit, and those run by local and state governments. Residential facilities were given a five-year deadline to comply – a deadline that closed in August 2013. The change was sparked by two fatal nursing home fires in 2003 – one at Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, Connecticut that claimed 16 lives and one in the NHC Healthcare Center in Nashville, Tennessee that claimed 15 lives.
As of that deadline, 385 homes in 39 states are still not up to code, placing tens of thousands of senior citizens in danger of fire. Forty-four of those facilities have no sprinkler systems at all, and it doesn’t seem to be for lack of funds in most cases. 204 for-profit facilities did not meet the standard; 145 non-profit facilities failed to meet CMS requirements, and even 36 government-run facilities failed.
The CMS will be taking legal action against any facility that does not make moves to meet their requirements.
For all of your fire safety needs, contact W & M Sprinkler today!