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German media report that a fire in the Haus Simon home for the elderly in Bedburg-Hau near the Dutch border early on the 4th March killed four residents and led to 24 others going to hospital, including a policeman, fire officer and a member of the care staff. The fire was reportedly started by a cigarette. The building was claimed to meet the code requirements and was last inspected in 2018, while the fire alarm worked immediately. Yet in Germany sprinklers are not required in care homes. This is despite clear evidence that they reduce fire deaths to become rare, and ending multiple death incidents. Eugen Brysch of the German Patient Protection Trust said, ‘The number of fires in care homes remains at a constant high level, just in the last three months there have been 26. Sprinkler systems can save lives here and clearly minimise property damage. What has been standard in furniture stores and warehouses for a long time must also apply in care homes.’

TV news programmes widely covered the story and picked up on the need for sprinklers. See:

ZDF 09:29

WDR at 07:21