05/06/2013 10:03 EDT | Updated 07/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Wynne promises automatic sprinkler systems in all Ontario nursing homes

TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Ontario government will force older nursing homes and retirement facilities to be retrofitted with water sprinkler systems.

Wynne says the Liberals will make automatic sprinklers mandatory in all homes for seniors and for people with disabilities, but she didn't give a time frame for when the fire safety systems must be installed.

The premier got a standing ovation from the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs when she announced the government would unveil the necessary legislation next week.

There are about 40,000 seniors living in 700 retirement homes in Ontario, another 76,000 people in about 400 long-term care facilities and 3,000 other homes for vulnerable residents.

Wynne says there will be other amendments to the fire code announced next week, but the government will continue to study the fire chiefs' call for mandatory carbon monoxide detectors in all homes.

The government's technical advisory committee which investigated the various retirement and long-term care homes had been scheduled to make its recommendations on sprinkler systems by last fall.