Keeping The Vulnerable Fire Ready

The Chatham-Kent Fire Department logo. (Photo by Bob Becken)

Chatham-Kent fire officials are confident vulnerable homes in the municipality will be able to meet new provincial guidelines.

A series of deadlines have been set out over the next five years to help protect staff and residents should there ever be a fire in a residence with vulnerable occupants. The improvements include safety doors, sprinkler systems, and evacuation readiness in the case of an alarm.

Fire Prevention Officer Scott Sproule calls preparation for the increased regulations a win-win situation. “The staff are more comfortable of how to evacuate, the residents understand how important it is to evacuate, and they know exactly now where to go to a safe area, and how to deal with it in a safe and quick manner.”

Sproule says the majority of retirement homes have already complied with sprinkler systems, and just a few group homes remain. He adds over 50% of vulnerable homes in CK have sprinklers already. Some provincial funding was provided to owners of vulnerable homes but the majority of the costs to upgrade falls on the owners laps.