Many Nursing Homes Still Without Automatic Smoke AlarmsOct 9, 2013
In case of fire, many residents at nursing homes across the country may be in jeopardy of suffering serious injuries or dying simply because there was no smoke alarm.
The New York Times is reporting that as of last month, more than 1,100 nursing homes across the country don't have an adequate automatic smoke alarm system. The automatic smoke alarms were never installed because they were never mandated by the federal government for nursing homes that accept residents on Medicare or Medicaid subsidies.
In 2008, the federal government finally mandated that all nursing homes have automatic smoke alarms installed. Rules state that any new nursing home or new construction to old nursing homes must have these automatic smoke alarms. The updated laws require them in older facilities now, too, but those nursing homes are slow in adapting to the new rules. The New York Times reports that still more than 1,100 have not complied with the new federal rules. Some nursing homes have only installed "partial" systems, according to the report.
The New York Times reports that at least 125 nursing homes in the U.S. have no sprinkler systems whatsoever. The report cites data that reveals at least five fire-related deaths per year have been reported since 2006 at nursing homes across the country.
This means that potentially tens of thousands of nursing home residents, especially those living in older facilities, are at the mercy of an alert staff in helping them get out of a burning building. This, according to our reports, is just one of many dangers facing nursing home residents today. As budgets get tighter, it's usually the nursing home resident that suffers. Staff cutbacks have led to substandard care and questionable hiring decisions.