Firefighters believe a resident might be responsible for starting the fire.
It was Thursday night, November 1swhen Plantation firefighters were dispatched to the West Broward Rehabilitation and Healthcare facility after they were notified that a fire broke out in the building. Local 10 News reported that after firefighters arrived at the scene, “the nursing home had already started moving all the patients from the east wing.” Luckily, firefighters were able to extinguish the flames, but not before three people sustained injuries. The news source highlighted that two patients and nurse all had to be transported to the hospital.
According to Plantation Fire Battalion Chief Joel Gordon, the two patients were both occupants of the room where the fire broke out in. One of the individuals suffered severe burns and had to be transported to the trauma center at Broward Health Medical Center. The other patient and a nurse were taken to Westside Regional Medical Center. The nurse was said to have suffered from smoke inhalation.
The news outlet highlighted that once the scene was cleared, patients were then permitted to re-enter the facility. Although firefighters are still investigating the incident to determine what caused the fire to start, they suspect that a resident may have been smoking in bed and then dropped their lit cigarette.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home in Plantation or any other city within the state of Florida, this incident may have taken you by surprise which has now led to you wondering just how safe your aging relative is. You may also be questioning whether smoking is permitted in Florida nursing homes. To help you better understand what FL law states in regards to smoking inside a facility such as a nursing home, below we share some important information with you.
Is Smoking Permitted Inside FL Nursing Homes?
According to FL State Statute § 386.2045 , tobacco smoking may be permitted in a private residence so as long as it “is not being used commercially to provide child care, adult care, or health care, or any combination thereof.” Now, because most nursing homes serve as an aging individual’s primary residence, some facilities do permit residents to smoke while living there, however, the facility must provide them with designated areas to do this. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services , “the facility is obligated to ensure the safety of designated smoking areas which includes protection of residents from weather conditions and non-smoking residents from second-hand smoke.”
In the event a resident who wishes to smoke in a designated area cannot do so independently, a staff member must assist them to ensure an accident doesn’t occur. For instance, some residents might have trouble lighting their cigarette which could lead to them getting burned while others may not be able to put the cigarette out properly which could lead to a fire starting. Nursing home staff members should also be monitoring the residents who smoke as well as those inside the facility who don’t to ensure none are violating state laws or facility policies that could potentially put their lives and the others around them at risk.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of understaffed facilities located all across the state of FL where incidents occur simply because there aren’t enough workers to tend to the number of residents being housed there. And if you have a loved one who has suffered from neglect or an injury that was brought on because of an insufficient number of staff members or another reason, contact USAttorneys.com. We will connect you with a local Plantation, FL nursing home abuse attorney who can help you get your loved one settled elsewhere as well as take the necessary forms of action to hold the facility and/or the staff liable for their behavior.