Enjoy Your Vacation, but Be Prepared
Summer is the prime time for vacations and most of the time, vacations lead to staying in hotels or motels. When you check you usually don’t think about fire exits or their fire and life safety devices. But, it should be.
According to NFPA, “in an average year, one of every 12 hotels or motels reported a structure fire”. This means that you and your family may be at more of a risk than you think. Out of the one in every 12 hotels or motels structure fires:
- 8% were started by smoking materials
- 7% were intentionally set
- 12% began in a bedroom
How to Prepare
When traveling and choosing a hotel or motel it is important to be aware of your surroundings and prepared in case a fire were to occur. As you plan your vacation make sure that the hotel that you choose is protected by both a fire sprinkler system and fire alarms. Once you are on your vacation and you have checked into your hotel, ask the front desk what the fire alarms sound like. This way if you hear them in the middle night you will not mistake them for something else and you will know that it is an emergency.
As you make your way to your room look out for the exits. Make sure you know where the stairwells are if you are not on the 1st floor. Also, test the exits to ensure that they are not locked. If they are locked notify management immediately. When you get to your room take the time to look over the escape plan that is posted. This will most likely be the quickest way out the building in case of an emergency.
Throughout the duration of your stay at the hotel or motel make sure that you sleep with your room key by your bed. This way you will easily be able to grab and it go in the event of a fire.
In the Event of a Fire
If you are staying in a hotel or motel and there is a fire, evacuate your room immediately. As you are leaving close all of the doors behind you. If you are not on the first floor of your building always make sure to use the stairwell when you evacuate, never use an elevator. When escaping if you encounter smoke, get as low as you can and try to go under the smoke towards your exit.
If a fire breaks out and you are not able to escape NFPA recommends that you:
- Shut of fans and air conditioners
- Wet towels and stuff them in the cracks around the door
- Wait at the window and use a flashlight or bright colored cloth to signal for help
- Call the fire department
While on vacation most people want to forget their responsibilities and just relax, but your safety is not something that can be put on the back burner. When staying in hotels or motels always be aware of your surroundings, know your escape plan, and be prepared for the worst.
-The IFS Team