Despite heightened scrutiny of nursing home conditions in recent years, new data shows that many of these institutions are not complying with established safety standards in the industry. After an August 2013 deadline for sprinkler installation, data shows that 385 facilities in 39 states failed to meet safety requirements. This comes after a long history of nursing home fires, according to a recent Telegram.com article.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), manages nursing home regulation and reports that of the 385 failing facilities, 44 of them had no sprinkler systems at all. The CMS has emphasized the importance of having fire safety mechanisms in place due to the increased risk in nursing homes. Patients are unable to mobilize and evacuate quickly and these fires can be extremely deadly. Serious fires in nursing homes prompted the initial push in 2003 for sprinklers. Nursing homes were given a recommendation to install sprinkler systems and improve fire safety within five years. In 2008 it became mandatory that older homes install automatic sprinkler systems. It comes at a great surprise that even after an additional 5-year extension, so many homes still failed to meet requirements.
The average cost of an entirely new system comes in at around $363,000 and refitting an existing one costs about $270,000. Many claim that this costs is not unreasonable for homes to pay as they have enough money to cover it.
Fire safety is yet another point of interest in the evaluation of nursing home safety. The industry as a whole has been highly criticized for negligence and a failure to provide adequate patient safety precautions. Many don’t even think of fire safety provisions when evaluating a home for a loved one. If you or someone you know suffered an injury as a result of poor nursing home procedure or negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact a Lopez McHugh attorney today at (877) 737-8525 or fill out a contact form for an initial consultation, free of charge.