At this time of year many people may be looking at booking a holiday or be getting ready to pack their bags in search of some sun. It is so easy to just think about what we need to put in the suitcase and forget about safety issues. A few quick tips may make your holiday a safer one.
Most hotels and B&B accommodations in the UK are equipped with the required smoke alarms and extinguishers to ensure the safety of those staying there. However, this is not always the case, especially in other countries where regulations may be more relaxed.
When you arrive at your destintion look to see if alarms are fitted and where extinguishers are placed. Make sure you know what type of fire extinguishers are installed and what they can be used on. Always establish where the fire exits are and check that they have not been blocked. Check to see if there is a secondary exit out of your hotel room and read the fire safety poster that should be in every room explaining the evacuation procedure.
If you are not happy with the safety standards and the fire protection in the hotel, notify your tour operator or talk to the hotel manager.
You may want to consider taking a portable smoke alarm with you on holiday to place in your room and ideally also a carbon monoxide alarm, which will alert you should there be any carbon monoxide present from gas boilers etc.
If you are traveling with children make sure you have explained to them what they should do if the fire alarms were to go off. Show them the assembly place situated outside the building. Have some fun too, ask them to see how many extinguishers they can find.
Above all, enjoy your holiday and include your impression of fire safety issues in any reviews you may write about the place you stay at.
August and September have seen two major fire incidents in two hotels, ‘The Swan and Royal Hotel’, Clitheroe and the ‘Grand Burstin Hotel’, Folkestone. In both cases all residents at the hotels and staff were evacuated without any serious consequences.
If you are a hotel or bed and breakfast owner it is your responsibility to ensure that your premises have adequate fire detection and protection. In the case of the Grand Burstin Hotel the alarm was raised by a passerby. Had the member of public not noticed the fire, the outcome could have been very different and casualties could have resulted.
Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself:
Do I have adequate fire detection and do my smoke alarms conform to the correct standard?
Do I have adequate fire extinguisher cover and are they up to date on service?
Have I got adequate means of escape or do I need to install fire escape ladders?
Are my guests aware of the evacuation procedure should the alarm be raised and do I have guests who would require assistance?
By asking yourself these few simple questions and acting on the outcome of the answers, you could be preventing a disaster. The hotel fire at the Grand Burstin was caused due to a guest leaving a tea light lit on top of the TV set unattended. Not something that you can prevent, but had the alarm been raised sooner, the damage due to smoke and flames could have been restricted.
Remember, it is not only the lives of yourself and your guests you are protecting but also your livelihood and home. Unfortunately, the 18th century Swan and Royal Hotel was left wrecked by the fire that occurred there.
Your guests are YOUR responsibility. Safelincs Ltd are here to help you ensure that you have adequate protection. Please call FREEPHONE 0800 612 2946 for assistance.