Dr. Helena Jaczek, Ontario’s Minister of Community and Social Services, recently announced the province will invest $6.5 million in improving the fire safety of community service agency facilities where some of the province’s most vulnerable people receive treatment and services.
Across Ontario, over 130 facilities from 40 agencies are set to receive funding this year to improve fire safety. The funding will be used to complete fire alarm system improvements, install fire doors and separations and install sprinkler systems, among other upgrades. This investment brings the total funding for upgrading fire safety in developmental and community service facilities to over $15 million since 2014-15.
“Fire safety measures like upgraded fire alarms, fire doors and sprinkler systems significantly reduce the risk of fire and help save lives,” said David Orazietti, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, in a press release. “Now, even more buildings across the province that provide community services will have fire safety precautions in place to protect Ontario’s most vulnerable and bring peace of mind to their loved ones.”
Ontario is the first province to make sprinkler systems mandatory in existing senior care residences and homes for vulnerable citizens. An amendment to Ontario’s Fire Code that took effect in 2014 requires facility retrofits, where necessary, to be completed before 2019.