Every year, there are over 3,500 fires in hotels and motels. This staggering statistic underlines the importance of fire protection for these properties. Every hotel owner and management team should take the proper steps to help prevent devastating fires.
Fire Extinguishers should be readily accessible in all areas of the hotel. This means that they need to be in rooms, hallways, and lobby areas. Every fire extinguisher needs to be clearly labeled. If the labels are no longer legible, then they need to be replaced and updated to reflect the latest standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). No matter where the fire extinguishers are located, they should never be blocked by furniture or decorations. Fire extinguishers must be inspected every year by a licensed fire protection contractor. In between inspections, if it is noticed that they have been discharged, damaged or otherwise inoperable they must be repaired or replaced immediately.
Hotels and motels must have working fire alarm and sprinkler systems. These systems should be installed, inspected, and maintained by qualified personnel. Smoke detectors and sprinklers must be installed in all areas of the hotel, including all guest rooms. Notification appliances, including horns, strobe lights and bells must be visible and audible throughout the facility.
Evacuation procedures are an essential part of an effective fire safety program. All guests should be given clear and concise information on what to do in case of a fire, including exit locations and areas of refuge and where they should gather once they have reached safety. Evacuation procedures need to be posted in every guest room and on every floor in the corridors. Exit doors must never be chained or locked closed. Lighted exit signs must be located at or near all exit doors. Emergency lights, with battery backup, must be located so that proper illumination can be provided in the event of a power failure. Stairways must be kept clear and free of obstructions. Fire doors must be kept closed and equipped with an automatic self-closing mechanism.
Convention Centers and many hotels have restaurants. By their nature, restaurants have an enhanced risk of fire. Cooking equipment that utilize open flames, electric appliances, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals and paper products all contribute to a higher than average fire risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost 8,000 restaurants report a fire every year. Because these restaurants are part of the hotel, good fire protection practices must be followed.