Hotel Safety

Travelers need to pay close attention to fire safety as well as location and amenities when planning a trip. When traveling, it is important to become familiar with your surroundings. Here are some safety guidelines to ensure your trip is safe.

Begin at home…

Upon check-in…

Take a few moments after your arrival to do each of the following:

During a fire…

Fire in your room…

If fire begins in your room, stay calm and remember these tips:

Fire outside your room…

If fire occurs elsewhere in the hotel, be prepared to hear the fire alarm, shouting in the hallway, a phone call from hotel officials, and sirens. If you are the one to detect smoke or fire, call the hotel operator immediately.

If smoke is present…

If your hotel room door is hot, and there is smoke in the hallway, stay calm and keep the door closed. You can survive a hotel fire by awaiting rescue in your room.

If the hallway is clear…

If you have been alerted to fire in the hotel, yet your door is not hot, and the hallway is free from smoke, follow these guidelines:

If you are trapped…

If you can’t escape and there is no fire in your room, stay put.

 

Hints for meeting planners…

If you’re a convention or meeting planner, you should pay particular attention to fire safety. Before scheduling an event, investigate the hotel’s arrangements for fire detection, its alarm systems, the provisions for extinguishing fires, the exit routes and employee training for fire emergencies.

The hotel should have an alarm system and ideally should have an automatic sprinkler system, particularly for large exhibition areas and other wide areas. If you’re planning a large trade show, be sure the hotel provides services to remove packing materials quickly from the exhibit area.

A general rule to keep in mind is that street-level meeting rooms are the easiest to evacuate. Rooms above the seventh floor are more hazardous, because fire ladders may not reach that high. Basement meeting rooms may not be a wise choice, because meeting participants must climb up stairs in the same direction smoke and flames will travel.

The meeting room should have adequate exits. A rule of thumb is that 50 to 300 persons require two exits. Three hundred to 1,000 need three exits, and more than 1,000 persons should have four or more exits. The exits should be brightly lit, not blocked by furniture or curtains and be easily opened. They should never be locked or chained.

Seating or exhibit arrangements should allow enough aisle space for quick evacuation. You should familiarize yourself with exits and escape routes. You should not only make sure that the hotel floor plan is visibly posted, but also walk the entire escape route. Hallways, exits and stairwells should be clear of obstructions. Stairs should have emergency lighting and elevators should be clearly marked to prevent use in a fire.

After you check the escape route, ask the hotel staff to remove any furniture that is in the way and to point out the location of automatic sprinklers and smoke detectors. Locate fire extinguishers in case of small “wastepaper basket” fires, but be sure to call the fire department directly before attempting to control even a small fire.

Arrange to listen to the fire alarm and find out who on the hotel staff is responsible for calling the fire department — although in case of fire, contact the fire department first and then alert the hotel switchboard on the house telephone.

Before your meeting, instruct attendees about alarms, escape routes and general fire safety procedures.

The best precautions…

No matter what safety measures the hotel and its staff provide, the best protection in a fire emergency is an alert individual who knows what to do in a hotel fire.