Focus on Fire Safety: Hotels and Motels
Every year there are an estimated 3,900 hotel and motel fires reported to U.S. fire departments, resulting in 15 deaths, 150 injuries, and $76 million in property loss.
When staying at a hotel or motel, it is important to become familiar with your surroundings. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to review the following safety tips to assist you in preparing for traveling.
- When making your reservations, ask if the hotel or motel has smoke alarms and an automatic fire sprinkler system.
- When traveling, take a flashlight with you.
- Read the fire evacuation plan carefully. If one is not posted in your room, request one from the front desk.
- Locate the two exits nearest your room.
- Count the number of doors between your room and the exits. This will assist you in the need of an emergency evacuation.
- Locate the fire alarms on your floor.
Life Safety Steps
- Never smoke in bed.
- If the fire is in your room, get out quickly. Close the door, sound the alarm and notify the front desk.
- Always use a stairwell, never an elevator. The elevator could stop at the floor of the fire.
- If the fire is not in your room, leave if it is safe to do so. Be sure to take your room key with you in case fire blocks your escape and you need to re-enter your room.
- To check the hallway for fire, touch the door with the back of your hand to test the temperature. If the door is cool, get low to the floor, brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. Be ready to close it quickly if there are flames on the other side. Crawl low in the smoke to the nearest exit; the freshest air is near the floor.
- If your room door is hot, do not open it. Instead, seal the door with wet towels or sheets. Turn off the fan, heater, and air conditioner. Call the fire department to give your location. Signal from your window.
Hotel and Motel Fire Safety List
The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 was enacted by Congress to save lives and protect property by promoting fire and life safety in hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation. The law mandates that USFA maintain a list of hotels and motels that adhere to the life safety requirements in the legislation and in which Federal employees on travel must stay. The requirements are:
- hard-wired, single-station smoke alarms in each guestroom in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 72; and
- an automatic fire sprinkler system, with a sprinkler head in each guest room in compliance with NFPA standard 13 or 13R. Properties four stories or higher must have an automatic fire sprinkler system.
The Hotel-Motel List isn't just for Federal employees! USFA encourages the traveling public to use the list when making reservations for lodging accommodations, be they for business or pleasure.