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Sprinkler Systems in Care Facilities

Issue Statement: February 13, 2014

Statistics show that automatic sprinkler systems can reduce mortality and limit property damage in many fires, yet most building codes across Canada do not require these systems to be retrofitted, or in some cases, even applied to new construction for multi-unit residences, care facilities and other public buildings.

Engineers Canada believes that governments must take steps to ensure consistent regulations and standards are in place across Canada for the installation of sprinkler systems in new and older construction.

Quick Facts

  • According to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, residential sprinklers result in an 80% reduction in fire related deaths and fire related injuries.
  • Currently, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador are the only jurisdictions to require sprinkler systems.
  • "All Canadians, regardless of where they live in the country, deserve the same level of safety, especially our more vulnerable citizens," said Mr. Kim Allen, FEC, P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer of Engineers Canada. "The engineering profession supports efforts to incorporate best practices into building and fire codes to require sprinkler systems in care facilities across the country."

Next Steps

  • Engineers Canada will consult with our members, the 12 provincial and territorial engineering regulators, on the current situation regarding sprinklers in their jurisdiction, and develop a consensus national position.
  • Engineers Canada stands ready to offer the expertise of the engineering profession to the federal government in the development of national model codes to support the call for mandatory sprinkler systems across Canada.