Hotel Fire Protection & Safety
Kauffman Co. is a leading fire protection company in the Houston area.
While hotel stays are usually grouped with fun thoughts of vacation, family trips, and exciting adventures, hotels themselves are not safe from the hazards and dangers of fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is an average of 3,700 structure fires per year at hotel or motel properties. These fires cause an annual average of:
- 12 civilian deaths
- 143 civilian injuries
- $127 million in direct property damage
Of hotels fires from 2006-2010, almost half (45 percent) involved cooking equipment, and others were caused by smoking materials (which caused 79 percent of deaths), clothes dryers and washers, and heating equipment.
If you are located in the Houston area, contact Kauffman Co. today for complete fire protection services for your hotel. Call us at (713) 893-1090!
Fire Hazards in Hotels & Motels
Just like any structure, hotels are at risk for fires—but there are specific aspects that make their fire prevention systems and plans more complex. First, hotels have a high occupancy load due to the many rooms and numerous guests that could spend any given night. In addition, unlike office spaces or apartment complexes, guests are unfamiliar with the building and viable escape routes. Many hotels also have restaurants—kitchens add a great risk of fire due to open flames, flammable grease traps, and storage of flammable materials.
Fire Protection for Hotels
As property manager of your hotel, you can ensure that the structure has properly installed, professionally maintained, and regularly inspected fire protection systems throughout the building. These include:
Fire sprinkler systems – fire sprinklers are essential for protecting your hotel rooms around the clock, whether your rooms are occupied or vacant. Fire sprinklers can prevent a fire from spreading from one room to the next, minimizing downtime for your hotel and reducing the number of displaced guests. The NFPA reports that there has been no loss of life in the U.S. in hotel buildings with functioning fire sprinklers.
Fire evacuation routes – you should have fire evacuation routes posted in each room with more than one escape route listed. Depending on the floor plan of your hotel, it’s important that your guests have more than one way to safely get out of the building in case a fire breaks out along one of the route options. Remind your guests that they should not use elevators. Many hotels have these plans laminated on the door to the hallway.
Fire alarms – having a working, well-maintained fire alarm system is crucial for keeping your hotel building up to code and safe for your overnight guests. To ensure that it is in working order—and ready to alert guests of a fire emergency at any time of day or night—you should have your system inspected regularly by a professional fire protection company. The NFPA estimates that if a fire starts in a hotel room, that guest has two minutes on average to escape safely. A fire alarm will buy them crucial time to safely use an escape route.
Fire extinguishers – local standards will differ, but an ABC fire extinguisher is the most versatile and common type because it can put out fire caused by ordinary materials (paper, plastic, trash), flammable liquids (oil, grease, gasoline), and electrical equipment (appliances, computers, wiring). Many guests will know how to use fire extinguishers, but they should be clearly labeled within rooms, common areas, and hallways.
What Hotel Managers Can Do To Prevent Hotel Fires
Hotel managers and owners can help prevent fires on their property by not only installing the above fire protection systems, but also ensuring that:
- Every room has a smoke detector or alarm
- Their doors are self-closing in stairwells to help confine smoke, flames, and heat
- Sprinkler and alarm systems are tested regularly by fire protection companies
- Employees are knowledgeable and trained with emergency response protocol
- Hallways, doors, and stairwells are clear of obstructions
While calling 9-1-1 is the first response when a fire starts in your hotel, you and your employees should all also be able to:
- Describe fire emergency procedures for the hotel
- Identify and minimize common fire hazards within your hotel
- Assist guests with safe evacuation plans and routes
- Understand how guests or events with special circumstances will impact the regular fire response plans
Fire Protection for Hotel Guests
As a guest, it’s harder to be prepared for hotel fires since you are most likely unfamiliar with the building’s floor plan and fire prevention measures. When planning a vacation or business trip, you should:
- Ask if the hotel has smoke alarms and an automatic fire sprinkler system
- Pack a flashlight with you
- Ask the front desk what the fire alarms sound like
Once arriving for your stay, you and your family should:
- Read the evacuation plan carefully
- Locate at least two exit routes from your room
- Count the number of doors between your room and exit to ease your escape route
- Identify the fire alarms on your floor surrounding your room
- Keep your room key by your bed and take it with you if the alarm signals
- Use stairs—not the elevator—in the event of a fire emergency
If you are unable to escape from your room during a fire, you should shut off fans and air conditioning units, stuff wet towels in the cracks around the doors, call the fire department (9-1-1) and then the front desk, and wait at the window for emergency responders.
If you are a hotel manager, you can also better prepare your guests for their safety in the event of a fire, by reminding them to take the above precautions.
Houston, Texas Fire Protection Services for Hotels
At Kauffman Co., we provide a wide range of services for all of your hotel’s fire safety and protection needs. We are proud to provide owners and managers of hotel and motel properties in the Houston, Texas area with full service fire protection—everything from fire sprinkler installation and testing to maintenance, repair, and replacement of existing fire protection systems.
Contact us to see how Kauffman Co. can help you protect your Houston area hotel and guests against all fire hazards and emergencies!