Every year, one out of every 12 hotels reports a fire within their building. This contributes to about 3,520 fires per year in hotels or motels. Fire protection is critical to preventing fires in this type of building and a hotel poses different fire hazards than a typical structure. People often associate staying in hotels with family vacations or adventures and fire safety is not usually something people consider when staying in a hotel. It is important that fire safety measures are taken in hotels to protect the occupants from danger.
Hotel Fire Hazards
Hotels have special hazards that can make fire protection a little more complex than other facilities. First of all, hotels have a high occupancy because there a large number of rooms that people may be staying in which means there are more people to protect. Also, hotel guests are not familiar with the layout of the building and will not have knowledge of the fastest evacuation routes in the event of a fire. Guests of a hotel are especially vulnerable to fire when they are sleeping, which is what people tend to spend a lot of time doing at hotels.
It is imperative that hotels have working fire alarms in the building. Since guests are unfamiliar with the layout of the hotel, it will take them longer to evacuate. This means that early detection and alerting of a fire is necessary to be able to protect the guests from a fire. The hotel manager should ensure that fire alarms are working properly at all times and that regular testing and inspections are completed by a fire protection professional.
Rooms, hallways, and lobby areas in a hotel should have fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers should be well labeled and easily accessible to guests in the room. They should never be blocked by furniture or anything that would make it difficult to reach. Hotel managers should have the extinguishers inspected regularly to make sure there is no visible damage to the extinguisher and that they are all in the correct locations.
A hotel should always have an established evacuation route for the occupants of the building to follow. When a guest checks into the hotel, make them aware of the evacuation route and give them a flyer detailing the fire exit points and locations of assembly points. The fire evacuation routes also should be posted in every room.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of fire in a hotel is through a fire sprinkler system. Fire sprinklers can put out a fire before it reaches any of the other rooms which helps prevent extensive damage to the hotel and saves countless lives. Hotel managers should enlist the help of fire protection professionals to make sure their fire sprinkler systems are up to date and in proper working condition.
Fire Safety Tips for Hotel Guests
In addition to fire protection in the building, hotel guests can protect themselves by being educated on fire safety. When a guest checks into a hotel, they should ask what the fire alarm sounds like and read the evacuation routes posted in their room. Before making a reservation at a hotel, a guest should ask if the hotel has fire alarms and fire sprinkler systems. Guests should take the time to find the nearest exits and familiarize themselves with the building, so they can evacuate faster during an emergency. If a fire breaks out, hotel guests should wake those in the room and focus on leaving the building as quickly as possible without using the elevator.
If you are going to be traveling and staying in a hotel, it is important that you are aware of how to be safe in the event of a fire. To learn more about hotel fire safety, visit the NFPA’s website.