84% of Texas Nursing Homes Received Fire Safety Citations


According to the Government Accountability Office, nearly 60 percent of nursing homes nationwide were cited for fire-safety problems. The state of Texas ranked ninth with 84 percent of facilities receiving citations during recent inspections, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The Texas Department of Human Services reported that all but two of 56 Dallas County nursing homes had at minimum one fire-safety deficiency since January 2003.

A spokesperson told the paper that figure doesn’t necessarily mean Texas nursing homes are less safe than those of other states because Texas may enforce fire safety requirements more rigidly, thus yielding more citations. Those numbers include infractions like an exit sign’s burnt-out light bulb.

Concern about nursing home fire safety has increased after fires in two respective homes – both lacking sprinkler systems – killed 15 Tennessee residents in September and 16 in Connecticut during February 2003.

The spokesperson told The Morning News in the past 12 years six people have died in separate Texas nursing home fires – five related to smoking and one due to an electrical accident.

Texas nursing homes are required by law to have smoke detectors in hallways and fire sprinkler systems.

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