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:
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!
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.
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.
Hotel managers and owners can help prevent fires on their property by not only installing the above fire protection systems, but also ensuring that:
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:
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:
Once arriving for your stay, you and your family should:
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.
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!
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