A non-profit federation of long-term care facilities recently applauded the efforts of two lawmakers for introducing bipartisan legislation to mandate automatic fire sprinkler systems in long-term care facilities. U.S. Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) recently introduced the Nursing Home Fire Safety Act of 2007 to help improve patient safety in long-term care facilities. The bill also provides loans and hardship grants to facilities to help ensure compliance, setting aside $450 million for low-interest loans and $100 million for grants over the next five years. Beyond fire prevention measures, fire suppression technology is particularly important in long-term care facilities because residents typically have difficulty ambulating and staffing levels are low, making evacuations inherently difficult.
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