Between the years 2006 and 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to approximately 3,700 fires involving hotel or motel properties per year. In addition to causing an average of 12 deaths and 143 injuries each year, these fires are also responsible for around $127 million in yearly property damage. If you’re in the hotel and motel industry, it’s important to take fire safety seriously before fires rather than after them. Here are a few things you can do to make your buildings safer and provide an added layer of protection for your guests.
Ban Smoking Inside the Building
According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Smoking materials started 10 percent of the fires in hotels and motels; these fires caused 79 percent of the deaths.” Hotels that ban smoking altogether eliminate many of the risks associated with smoking and greatly reduce the odds of fires altogether.
While sprinklers won’t exactly prevent fires from happening in the first place, they do greatly reduce the size and scope of most fires. More importantly, they reduce the rate at which the fire spreads – providing precious time for people to escape the building.
Post Evacuation Routes in all Rooms, Hallways, and Stairways
Make sure they are clearly posted in areas where emergency lights will turn on if a fire does happen in the building. This lets people know the safest, fastest route outside the building in the event of a fire. Many fires happen late at night when guests are groggy and not in their best frames of mind for critical thinking. These signs save lives.
Install Smoke Detectors in all Guest Rooms
Smoke detectors should also be tested regularly to ensure they’re in proper working order. Each room should have a smoke detector to let the person occupying the room know as quickly as possible that there may be a fire. Smoke detectors are critical tools for helping to save lives and minimize the spread and damage of a fire. The faster response to a fire happens, the less damage is generally done by the fire. Smoke detectors let guests know quickly that something is wrong so they can get out.
Ask Your Guests to be Proactive where Safety is Concerned
Remind guests that escape plans should be posted in all rooms and ask them to let you know immediately if there isn’t one in the room so you can provide one. Ask them to keep room keys near their nightstand for a quick escape during the night if necessary. Provide a nice shaded area where guests can smoke outside the hotel so that they aren’t tempted to smoke indoors regardless of your policy.
Small measures can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing your risks of hotel and motel fires. However, there is no such thing as fireproof. You should always obtain business insurance and property insurance to help you recover from the property damage and loss of business fire represents for your hotel or motel – just in case the unthinkable happens.