Report: States neglect fire safety standards for assisted living industry

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Assisted living facilities face even more challenges than nursing homes when it comes to fire safety standards, a USA Today report suggests.

Many states fail to set or enforce some basic standards for assisted living facilities. And unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities face no federal fire safety rules.

Earlier this year, the newspaper reported that almost half of the nation's 16,000 nursing homes violate fire safety standards annually. Two congressmen recently presented a bill that would require the installation of sprinklers in older facilities.

Some of the new report's findings: Assisted living facilities have twice as many fatal fires than nursing homes annually, and suffer dozens more that result in serious injuries. Four states – Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana and Hawaii – set no fire safety standards for the industry, according to the newspaper's report.