Overdue fire safety discussions after fatal nursing home fire
Experts says that fire protection and safety regulations in nursing and retirement homes are hopelessly out of date, having been updated 35 years ago.
The discussion has been broached following Thursday’s fire in a nursing home in Melle in which 9 people died.
After a fire in a nursing home in Wingene eight years ago in which two people died, proposals were put forward to make the fire safety regulations in nursing homes stricter.
Three years ago the Flemish government put forward its own resolution which was to come into effect the beginning of 2007, but it came up against criticism from the Council of State, the Supreme Administrative Court of Belgium. This criticism was on the grounds that it is the federal government that has the ability to set out fire safety norms and not the regional governments.
The Flemish government hopes to be able to implement stricter norms by the beginning of next year regardless.
It is important to note that the nursing home in Melle met all of the fire safety regulations. Smoke detectors are present in all rooms and in the hallways. However, this is not yet obligatory by law.