Michael Hazell

Editorial: Politicians fiddle with laws as buildings burn

Blog Post created by Michael Hazell Employee on Feb 5, 2014


Firefighters and police unfurl a tarp during recovery efforts on January 25, 2014, at the scene of the fatal Residence du Havre seniors home fire in L'Isle-Verte, Qc. Saturday January 25, 2014. Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette

Here's a sobering reminder of why NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative works so hard to educate our lawmakers and communities about the life-saving potential of sprinklers. In this editorial from the Montreal Gazette, Christie Blatchford of Postmedia News pulls no punches while taking politicians to task for not getting serious about sprinkler requirements. And while her focus is on the tragic fire at a senior residence that killed more than 30 people last month, the theme of her argument is very similar to our efforts to get sprinklers installed in all new one- and two-family homes in the United States.

'The way Quebec politicians and others are carrying on, you’d think that the automatic sprinkler system was an untried, still slightly sketchy, cutting-edge technology and not one proven up the yin-yang in the 142 years since it was invented.

“It’s not a simple problem,” Quebec Health Minister Rejean Hebert told reporters Monday at L’Isle-Verte. “If it would have been simple, it would have been done.”

If the answer was simple? It couldn’t be more simple: Order all care occupancies housing those incapable of self-preservation — vulnerable by dint of age or physical or mental disability — to be retrofitted with sprinklers.

Or take what Premier Pauline Marois, who this weekend visited the site of the horrific fire that killed 32 vulnerable old people last Thursday, said. “If only we were able to stop this from ever happening again, this type of thing.”

If only we were able to stop such fires?

Automatic sprinklers do precisely that. They stop fires in their tracks, contain them and contain the spread of poisonous deadly smoke.'

Read the entire editorial from the Montreal Gazette.