Fire inspections are required at 17 hospitals and 201 schools across Nova Scotia, according to an inventory of buildings released recently by the Department of Labor.
According to The Canadian Press, the department, which oversees the fire marshal's office, put out the list in response to a disconcerting report recently by auditor general Jacques Lapointe. (WCxKit)
Lapointe said that public safety was being compromised due to the fact inspections weren't carried out by the fire marshal's office as required and documentation was lacking.
His report notes that 47% of inspections required last fall were not finished and he stated the office did not know whether safety deficiencies discovered at the time of inspections were addressed.
The province reports it is committed to carrying out inspections on the hospitals within six months and on 131 elementary schools over the next year, while the leftover schools will be inspected after that.
''The department is realigning resources and in the process of engaging additional staff to allow for a focused approach to these buildings,'' the progress report noted.
And while it agrees with Lapointe that there is a lack of documentation on inspections, the department said it is confident that inspections were carried out and severe issues addressed in more than 1,170 buildings.
''We are confident that inspectors have recently visited the facilities which serve those Nova Scotians who may be the most vulnerable in the case of fire,'' the report goes on to say.
Those buildings include provincially licensed nursing homes, daycare, residential care facilities and jails.
According to the department, a list of university and community college buildings is partially complete and will likely exceed 350 buildings. Private property owners are responsible for inspections of those buildings, although oversight and verification of the inspections lies with the fire marshal. (WCxKit)
According to the report, the fire marshal is responsible for a total of 1,388 buildings throughout the province.
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