The report of a fire at Jaycee Village Retirement Community, an Ohio Nursing Home, demonstrates the importance of fire safety in all nursing homes. Although, no residents were injured, the episode demonstrates how a fire in a nursing home could severely harm residents who are unable to move quickly because they are bed-bound or in wheelchairs.
In June, 2008 CMS, the governmental agency regulating Medicare and Medicaid funded nursing homes, gave all nursing homes receiving federal funding five years to phase in the installation of sprinkler systems at their facilities. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office, fire sprinklers can decrease the chances for fire-related death by 82%.
Currently, all nursing home must have battery operated smoke alarms in all patient rooms and public areas. Further, all nursing home receiving public payments are subject to random fire safety inspections.
For laws related to Ohio nursing homes, look here.