A coroner has recommended the increased use of home fire sprinklers following two home fires that killed seven people.
One of the fires occurred in April 2012 and claimed the lives of three Ontario teens. A year later, another Ontario home fire killed two teens and their parents, according to a story by CBC News. Their deaths prompted an inquest by Ontario's Office of the Chief Coroner, which examined "everything from the fire alarms in the home to the training of the 911 operators who were alerted about the fires," states the story.
Regarding the fire claiming the three teens, firefighters responded well within times set by established standards. A news release highlighting evidence obtained during the inquest notes that "only three minutes and 22 seconds elapsed between the time the fire stations were notified and the time the first truck arrived on scene." Once they arrived, they were subjected to high heat and heavy smoke. The possibility of a flashover was imminent.
In May, the coroner's office issued 33 recommendations aimed at preventing similar tragedies. Number 27 states "to consult with stakeholders, research and promote the installation of sprinklers as a component of fire and life safety in all newly constructed residential homes with the appropriate amendment under the Ontario Building Code."
"It deeply disturbs me that these three young people were taken from their loved ones in this tragic fire, despite the extraordinary efforts of all first responders on the scene that day," Fire Chief Dave Speed with the Whitby, Ontario, Fire and Emergency Services stated in a news release. "Residential sprinklers would have made all the difference in this fire. It is likely that only one sprinkler would have activated and would have controlled the fire until we arrived to extinguish it. I am pleased that the jury has recommended sprinklers in new construction be researched and promoted with a view to amending the Ontario Building Code."
Learn how Ontario safety officials are working toward incorporating fire sprinklers into new homes by reading this blog post about Canada's first home fire sprinkler summit.