These standards are usually minimum standards and don’t always go as far as they should.
The horrific fire in the nursing home in L’Isle-Verte, Que., is a case in point.
I can’t imagine how any responsible person, corporation or government would allow such institutions to exist without sprinkler systems throughout.
Even more troubling is the fact that this was a three-story building housing 50 or more elderly people who were to a large extent immobile, suffering from dementia or suffering from a mobility disability, and bedridden.
Everyone has observed the signs in buildings with elevators warning not to use the elevator in case of fire.
I wonder, in these seniors institutions, how the hell can the residents be evacuated in a safe and timely fashion with a minimum of staff on hand, down stairwells, when so many of them are immobile and infirm?
Too many of these institutions are private, for-profit agencies, which makes many of us question their ethics and practices.
Of course, the politicians and inspectors are now crawling out of the woodwork, saying the L’Isle-Verte home and other institutions are built to code.
The Titanic was “built to code,” but in order to save money they did not exceed the code to ensure a higher degree of safety.
Look around us, the mall roof that caved in in Elliot Lake was built to code; the train and track at Lac Megantic was operating to code; and Highway 69 South at Rock Lake where a mother and her family lost their lives was built to code — and it goes on.
It doesn’t seem anyone ends up being held accountable. Why do our governments continue to hand over the keys for such things to so-called self-regulating bodies and private, for-profit corporations?
Perhaps it’s time for a real change.
Lionel W. F. Rudd