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Too many nursing homes still don’t meet fire-safety rules despite deadline

June Liccione monitored her mother’s health for years as her mother spent the last part of her life in and out of nursing homes. Liccione always had her mother’s health on her mind. Was she being properly treated? Properly fed? Properly cared for?

“There were so many other things to worry about,” Liccione told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I didn’t worry about a fire.”

But a recent survey illustrates just how susceptible nursing home residents are to the usually forgotten threat of a fire. The government recently released a damming report that accuses hundreds of nursing home facilities around the country of failing to comply with adequate sprinkler system requirements. Fires devastated two nursing homes in 2003 killing a combined 31 people, according to the Star-Tribune.

“That’s really quite shocking,” David Randolph Smith, an attorney who represented the families of the victims of one of the blazes, told the Star-Tribune. “Lots of things catch on fire in these buildings. Some of them are so old that they have polyurethane insolation. They’re tinder boxes in many cases.”

Many incoming residents never give these threats any thought, reported the Star-Tribune.

In an attempt to eliminate this doubt, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will deny payment and terminate provider agreements with facilities that fail to comply. All nursing home facilities were required to comply by last year.

Thirty-six of the noncomplying facilities are run by local and state governments, the Star-Tribune reported.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.