New fire safety requirements for MRC Pontiac

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Arnaud de la Salle (tr. Allyson Beauregard)


Arnaud de la Salle (tr. Allyson Beauregard)

MRC PONTIAC ­–  New regulations requiring the MRC Pontiac to be more involved in fire safety in seniors’ buildings were recently adopted. “To take care of safety requirements at the MRC level, we hired a fire prevention technician, Jonathan Perreault, in 2012. His main responsibility is to prevent fires in buildings categorized as high and very high risk, which include retirement homes and daycares; he is also working to develop intervention plans to be used by municipal fire departments in the case of an emergency in these buildings,” said Gabriel Lance, MRC Pontiac Assistant Director General.
The intervention plans include information concerning the type of building and number of residents or employees within it, the number of fire trucks and firefighters required in the case of an emergency, the location of fire hydrants, and more.
To date, buildings have been inspected in order of priority, starting with health centres such as   hospitals and CLSCs as well as buildings where seniors or children may   be located such as         daycares, schools and nursing homes; 20% of the        facilities in the Pontiac will be inspected per year so all high and very-high risk building inspections will be completed within five years, at which time the process will start over.
As well, Perreault will work with owners of retirement homes or     seniors’ residences to make sure everything is in order to meet the            new   regulations.  “When a retirement home is about to open its doors, after approaching the Social Services Agency, our technician will make an appointment with the owner to discuss the building’s fire safety requirements, the importance of preparing an emergency plan for the safety of residents, and receiving certification from the ASSSO (Social Services Agency   of Ottawa),” explained Lance.
Last January there was a deadly fire at L’Isle verte, a village in the lower St. Lawrence, which claimed the lives of 27   residents in a retirement home; MRC Pontiac’s plan is a proactive approach to avoid a          similar tragedy happening here.