Lawmakers revist the concerns expressed following the November tragedy at the Anderson Guesthouse. A bill before the house committee on public safety would require all long-term care facilities to install and maintian sprinkler systems, complete fire alarm systems and electrical systems. The proposal would also give the Department of Health and Senior Services the authority to require employees and personnel of any long-term care facility to be awake, dressed and on demand at all hours in case of an emergency. It would also require the facilities to have an emergency preparedness plan.
Fire Chief Shelby Turner inisists these proposed requirements are critical. He tells the house committee that the fire burning in the attic of the Anderson Home went unreported for a critical period of time, because no alarm system had been in place. He says had a single alarm been installed in the attic, all 12 people who lost their lives in the fire would be alive today. Shelby adds that most of the casualties were a result of smoke inhalation. He says sprinkler systems could have prevented those deaths.
The proposal calls for sprikler systems to be installed by late August of this year and fire alarm systems to be installed by late August of 2010.