Senators Burr and Dodd Introduce Nursing Home Fire Safety Act

Bipartisan legislation to provide funds to help nursing homes install fire sprinkler systems

Washington, D.C. - Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) today introduced the Nursing Home Fire Safety Act of 2006. The legislation would authorize funding through loans or grants to nursing homes to retrofit fire sprinkler systems into their facilities. Automatic fire sprinkler systems greatly improve the chances of survival for the elderly in the event of a fire in a nursing home.

"It is important residents in nursing homes not only receive the best care possible, but also live in the safest facilities. This legislation helps nursing homes in North Carolina and across the country have automatic fire sprinkler systems," Burr said. "Family members with loved ones in nursing facilities need to be assured their loved ones are better protected."

Currently, an estimated 1.5 million Americans reside in approximately 16,300 nursing home facilities nationwide. Of these facilities, 20 to 30 percent lack an automatic sprinkler system. In July of 2004, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed 423 nursing homes in North Carolina and found that 56.3% had fire safety deficiencies.

Today, federal regulations mandate the installation of sprinkler systems in newly constructed nursing homes. The Nursing Home Fire Safety Act of 2006 will ensure nursing home facilities built before the mandate and that lack the resources to install sprinkler systems are able to receive federal funding to do so in a timely manner.

For more information go to https://www.burr.senate.gov

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