MEDIA RELEASE: Sprinklers in nursing homes will save lives

The NSW government’s decision to make the installation of sprinklers in all nursing homes across the state mandatory will help save lives in the event of a fire emergency, COTA Australia said today.

COTA Australia Chief Executive Ian Yates welcomed the announcement, and is now calling for all states and the federal government to extend the requirement of safety sprinklers to all nursing homes around Australia.

“This is a very welcome announcement, and I hope that the program will prevent future tragedy’s such as the one experienced in Quaker’s Hill last year,” Mr Yates said.

“Every Australian living in a nursing home, or who has a loved one in a nursing home, has the right to know that they are safe and every measure is being taken to ensure that in the event of the unthinkable those less able to look after themselves will be ok.

“Sprinklers have now been proven by the NSW authorities to be effective not only in physical control of a fire, but of reducing the risk of injury and fatality. It has been found that they would have made a significant difference in the Quakers Hill nursing home tragedy, and would have saved lives.

“While I understand the financial position of some homes may delay the installation of their fire safety systems, it is important that sprinklers be fitted as quickly as possible to ensure all nursing homes have the highest of safety standards and a repeat of Quakers Hill never happens again.

“Victoria and Queensland have already made the retrofit of sprinklers in all nursing homes mandatory. The decision to bring NSW into line is overdue and very welcome.

“I now call on all states to do the same, and I urge the federal government to work together with the states to ensure a uniform policy across the country.”

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Anastasia Stomo 043 224 3389