THE PHOTOS shown here are stills from a video produced by NSW Fire and Rescue, known to most as the Fire Brigade.The Fire Brigade recreated the fire at Quakers Hill Nursing Home.
CPSA has obtained a copy of this video under the Government Information (Public Access) Act, known to most as FOI, Freedom of Information.
According to a report in the Blacktown Advocate, police have directly linked eleven deaths to the fire but the unofficial death toll is estimated at nineteen.
The Quakers Hill Nursing Home is reported to have had 88 residents at the time of the fire.
The photo on the left shows the the fire damage of a room without sprinklers.
The photo on the right shows what the damage would have been if a single sprinkler head had been operating in the room where the fire raged.
Meanwhile, Roger Dean, a registered nurse working at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home on the morning of the fire, has been charged with ten counts of murder.
Had there been a sprinkler system, it is likely he would have caused fewer deaths.
The implications of this for any prosecution of Mr Dean will become clear over time.
What is now absolutely certain is that any nursing home without a sprinkler system is a firetrap.
Two-thirds of nursing homes in New South Wales do not have sprinkler systems.
Two-thirds of NSW nursing homes are firetraps and CPSA calls on readers to “out” these facilities.
CPSA will publish the names of these nursing homes, the names of the companies or organisations that run them and their answers to some very specific questions about fire safety in the places they run.
We will also publish the names of the nursing homes that do have sprinkler systems.
The NSW Government has said that it wants sprinkler systems in all NSW nursing homes, but that the cost is a problem.
Maybe so, but the company that ran the Quakers Hill Nursing Home (Domain Principal) has decided to retrofit all its non-sprinklered nursing homes with life-saving fire sprinkler systems.
Domain Principal’s decision means that the largest for-profit nursing home operator in Australia acknowledges and accepts that fire sprinkler systems in nursing homes are indispensable.
It also means they are able to pay for it. If they are, what’s stopping the others?
Domain Principal’s decision highlights that the nursing home industry is able to afford essential and life-saving fire sprinkler systems. Those operators still opposing fire sprinkler systems in nursing homes should change their tune or get out of the industry.
Call CPSA on 1800 451 488 to dob in a firetrap. Alternatively tweet your nursing home complaints to @CPSANSW or use the hashtag #dobinanursinghome.