As summer approaches, you've probably already started making plans, booking hotels, and planning trips. Fire is probably the last thing on your mind if it's even anywhere on your mind. But, it should be!
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an average of 12 deaths and 143 injuries every year from hotel fires. You would agree with us that if you are lodging in a hotel during your vacation, you need to ensure you're safe.
A hotel fire doesn't have to ruin your holiday plans, though. You just have to follow the best practices and ensure the hotel does too. We have explained these best practices to help you remain safe in the event of a hotel fire.
Before You Leave Home
Preparations for the event of a hotel fire should start even before you book the hotel. You have to ensure the hotel follows fire safety best practices. You should talk to your children and ask them about the fire drills they do at school to make sure they what a fire alarm sounds like and what to do. Let them know the hotel has a similar alarm.
- Ask if the hotel has an automatic fire sprinkler system and smoke alarms.
- You should also check for fire extinguishers.
- Take a flashlight with you. It would come in handy in the darkness of a fire.
Once You Arrive
Before you start getting cozy and seeing the sights, you have to ensure your hotel is safe for you. Here are some of the things that you should do.
- Know the location of the fire alarms and extinguishers on your floor.
- Read the fire evacuation plan and find the nearest two fire exits.
- Count the doors between your room and the nearest exit so you can quickly evacuate in a fire.
If There is a Fire?
All these preparations may be for nothing if you panic when there's an actual fire. When the fire alarm goes off, the first rule is – Do Not Panic! You can't make the best decisions in a panicked state.
Once you have gotten your heartbeat down, you should take the following steps to ensure your safety.
- Put on your clothes and get your room key. The room key will allow you to enter your room again if there are no safe exits.
- Stop, Drop, and Roll! If the smoke has gotten to your floor, crawl on your hands or knees. The cleanest air is close to the floor. It has been proven that 80% of people who die in a fire die from the inhaled smoke, not the actual fire. So, stay close to the floor.
- Access the situation to know whether it is safe to leave your room or not. Get to the door and check if the door is hot with the back of your hand before you open it. If it isn't hot, then open it slowly.
- If the fire has not gotten between your room and the nearest exit, get out. Do not use the elevator. Stick to the stairs and hold the rails if they are not hot as you come down.
- However, if the fire makes it impossible for you to leave, take these steps.
- Call the hotel reception or 911 to let them know you're trapped in your room.
- Fill the bathtub and sinks with water.
- Wet some towels and put them along the door's bottom. It will help prevent smoke from getting into the room.
- Turn off the air conditioning to prevent smoke from entering and get on the floor.
- Try to stay as calm as possible till help comes.
Ensure you follow the evacuation procedures of the hotel. It will get you out fast. If smoke is coming from the hotel's lower floors, you might want to go higher till you reach the rooftop. Close all doors and windows as you evacuate. Also, try to turn off the electric equipment if you can.
No one ever thinks a hotel fire will occur while they are on vacation. However, the reality is that it can happen. With these hotel fire best practices tips, though, you and your family can get out safely.