There’s still a little bit of summer left! Whether you’re heading out for a family reunion or just clearing out to avoid the masses expected for the eclipse this month, don’t forget to practice fire safety wherever you are!
Every year, there are almost 4,000 motel and hotel fires. People cooking in their rooms is the leading cause of hotel fires with almost 50% of all hotel fires caused by people cooking. Thankfully, around 97% of those fires can be contained to just one or two rooms. The top three causes of hotel fires that are not contained to small areas are electrical issues, arson, and open flames.
When you’re looking for hotels or motels, ask staff about the fire sprinkler system and the fire alarm system. Both need to be in every single guest room. The sprinklers should be automatic and the fire alarms hard-wired.
While you’re checking in and settling in:
-Try to get a room that is no higher than the 5th floor – not all fire departments have ladders that reach the 6th floor or higher!
-Ask the front desk what the fire alarms sound like – there’s more variety than you’d think!
-Find all the fire alarms on your floor and in your room – make a game out of it!
-Find the two closest exits to your room – remember that you cannot use an elevator during a fire so if you are not on the first floor, your exits will be the closest stairwells! Note if any of the exit doors are chained or otherwise obviously locked and report it to the front desk.
-Count the number of doors in between the exits and your room – if you need to get out in the dark or heavy smoke, this could help you find your way in an unfamiliar place!
-Read the evacuation guide – yup, the one that’s usually on the back of the door. Make sure you know what to do if there is an emergency and you need to get out!
-Keep your key, flashlight, cell phone, wallet, and a pair of shoes next to your bed so you can grab and go if you need to.
If there’s a fire:
-Exit the hotel immediately. Don’t stop to pack or try to grab your things, just grab your key and leave!
-Close all doors behind you. Closing doors helps prevent the spread of the fire.
-Use the stairs! Never use an elevator during a fire! The power could go out and you will become stuck in the elevator.
-If you must go through smoke to exit, get low and stay low. Try to stay below the smoke.
If you become trapped in your room:
-Call 9-1-1 and let them know that you are trapped and your room number and location.
-Wait at the window and try to use a flashlight, your phone, or some sort of bright cloth to signal to firefighters.
-Turn off all fans, air conditioners, heaters, etc.
-Stuff wet towels in all the cracks under and around your door.
Whether at home or off traveling, remember to think fire safety! You never know when it will save your life!