January 2014 - Code Compliance

Sprinklers now Mandated in Care Homes for Seniors and People with Disabilities

January 1, 2014

Ontario is the first province to make automatic sprinklers mandatory in care homes for seniors, homes for people with disabilities, and vulnerable Ontarians.

Mandatory sprinklers are part of amendments to the Fire Code and Building Code that will improve fire safety in these occupancies. Other improvements include:

– Self-closing doors

– Enhanced fire inspections and staff training

– Annual validation of fire safety plans by local fire services

The amendments are based on recommendations made by the Technical Advisory Committee led by the Office of the Fire Marshal and public consultation. Helping seniors stay safe is a part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors and supports the new Ontario government’s efforts to ensure a just and fair society for all.



All licensed retirement homes and most private care facilities will have up to five years to install sprinklers. Some care and treatment facilities, including public long-term care homes, will have an 11 year phase-in period to coincide with redevelopment plans scheduled to be completed by 2025.

Since 1998, most newly built retirement homes in Ontario have been required to have sprinklers.

The Retirement Home Act, 2010, requires that information about whether or not a retirement home has a fire sprinkler system be publicly available.

More than 50,000 seniors live in about 700 retirement homes in Ontario.

By 2017, Ontario will be home to more people over the age of 65  than children under age 15.

New Years 2014(1)