Spanish media report that a fire which was detected at 23:19 on 18 January has killed nine residents of a care home in Moncada, Valencia. 12 more people were hospitalised, among them fire officers. 81 residents lived in the affected wing. The fire started in a room on the first floor, occupied by two elderly men, and is believed to have been caused by a short circuit.
The increased vulnerability to fire of care home residents, many of whom need assistance to evacuate, means that such buildings need additional fire safety measures to render them adequately safe. Principal among these should be a residential sprinkler system. Statistics from the US show that the risk to care home residents of death from fire is reduced by over 80% by sprinkler systems and multiple fire death incidents are eliminated. There is no requirement to fit sprinklers in care homes in Spain.