Hotel fire safety is an essential factor in the hospitality sector.
With constant footfall, regular cooking and many employees switching up on irregular shifts, hotels require a dedicated focus on fire safety to keep everyone and the building safe at all times.
If a fire breaks out in a hotel, many people will find themselves in danger. Hotel owners, managers and employees must recognise the importance of hotel fire safety to prevent hundreds of people from an emergency.
To keep a hotel, its staff and visitors safe, regulations need to be in place to prevent a fire outbreak. A hotel fire can develop quickly and leave visitors feeling incredibly vulnerable, especially with it providing accommodation for overnight stays.
The common causes of hotel fires
A hotel kitchen is constantly cooking up a storm for guests dining in the evening or ordering room service in the early hours. Cooking equipment is one of the leading causes of fires in hotels because of the continuous daily risk. Ensuring that the kitchen is clean and all fire equipment is accessible and tested is essential to keep the risks minimum.
There also runs a risk of some guests not knowing the safety etiquette expected by the hotel. Ensuring you have clear fire safety signs throughout the hotel and in each room will help educate desks and limit risks such as smoking indoors and leaving fire doors open.
The need for a hotel fire safety plan
Employees may feel panicked in an emergency. With a hotel fire safety plan, there is a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities needed to keep the building and its occupants safe.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires those responsible to carry out a fire risk assessment. With a fire risk assessment, you can note any potential hazards in your hotel and how to prevent them. It is also a legal requirement to provide fire safety training for all employees to know the steps to take during a fire – this is especially important in a hotel where different visitors are leaving and arriving every day.
What is in a hotel fire risk assessment?
A fire risk assessment for hotels will include numerous areas and situations where a fire could happen.
- Hotel rooms – Any electrical equipment supplied in hotel rooms should be safety checked and tested annually. Having safety signs to make guests and employees aware of the dangers when using any appliances will help limit the risks.
- Kitchens – The risk of fire in a hotel kitchen depends on several factors. A big hotel will have a larger kitchen with plenty of staff to supervise, whereas a smaller hotel may be limited to keeping an eye on the kitchen at all times
- Lobbies and hallways – Any communal areas need to be noted on the fire risk assessment as they will be the main areas where footfall occurs – this is also where most fire equipment will live
- Lifts- Lifts need to be considered in a fire risk assessment because they are not allowed to be used during a fire
- Smoking areas – Smoking is a major cause of fire in hotels and commercial buildings and non-smoking areas must be made clear to prevent people from discarding lit cigarette butts and causing a fire.
- Cleaning and storage cupboards – Cupboards will be full of linen and cleaning products which also means they are full of hazards. Keeping the enclosed areas clean and tidy will help keep the fire at bay.
What fire safety equipment do you need?
Fire safety equipment is an important addition to any hotel or commercial building. Fire alarms will detect a fire sometimes before it has even begun, and fire extinguishers will allow guests and workers to put out a fire with ease. Emergency lighting is especially crucial because it helps occupants to evacuate the building as safely as possible.
A historic hotel fire to remember
The worst British hotel fire in over 30 years occurred in the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay that sadly left three guests dead. An incredible 100 firefighters were needed to control the flames that quickly spread throughout the 54-bedroom Cornish Hotel in the early hours of 18th August 2007.
The building was later demolished, and four years later, it was discovered that the hotel owner had breached health and safety regulations which resulted in £80,000 worth of fines – arguably a ‘travesty’ to the victims’ relatives. In 2009, an inquest revealed that the hotel did not comply with fire safety regulations introduced in 2005, stating that each room must have its smoke alarm. The fire alarm could not be heard from the third floor and there was also a suitcase left in the hallway – obstructing the evacuation route.
Stay safe with Coopers Fire
Because fire curtains are discreet in style and come in all shapes, sizes, and for all applications, fire curtains are an all-rounded solution to protect all hotel environments. Here at Coopers Fire, our fire curtains are highly recognised as the modern alternative and offer designers the freedom to design modern, open-plan spaces without compromising fire safety.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.