Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Questions to Ask when Considering a Facility for Vulnerable Occupants

Are Your Loved Ones Safe from Fire?

Seniors and people with disabilities are most vulnerable when it comes to fire.

If you are considering a care, long-term care or retirement home in Ontario for yourself, a relative, or a friend, here are some important questions to ask the operators of these facilities:

  1. Has the facility had a fire safety inspection from the local fire department?
  2. Is the building well maintained? Are the doors and hallways free of obstructions?
  3. Are there fire safety features in place, or scheduled to be in place, such as:
  • alternative exits
  • smoke alarms
  • fire extinguishers
  • emergency lighting
  • self-closing devices on doors
  • a fire alarm system and sprinklers?
  1. Is there a fire safety plan (approved by the fire department) in place and is it reviewed regularly?
  1. Have staff received fire safety training?
  2. Are fire drills held regularly?
  3. Is the room/floor of the building suitable given your loved one’s ability to evacuate in the event of a fire?
  4. Are there enough staff available to carry out an evacuation/escape plan if there is a fire?
  5. Are there guidelines for people who smoke such as a designated outdoor area, separate room, and/or staff supervision?

You have a right to get answers regarding the fire safety conditions that affect your loved ones.

If you have any concerns about fire safety, contact the local fire department.

Hard copies of this resource can be ordered using the OFMEM Public Education Materials Order Form