The last thing that you want to think about when you are on vacation is fire safety, but it is important. When you are planning to stay in a hotel, there are many things that you should look for to ensure that the hotel is safe and has a good fire safety plan in place. Ask for a room on the third floor or lower, if possible, to ensure that you have a chance of escape if you become trapped in your room for any reason.
You can inquire on check in at the front desk and you may receive a small guide that outlines the escape route from your room to exit the hotel in case of fire. Every floor in the hotel should show a map with all exits clearly marked where you can get out if need be. Familiarize yourself with every possible exit in case one is not accessible.
Each floor should have several fire extinguishers in plain view. The extinguisher may be behind glass with some type of instrument on hand to smash the glass. The cabinet or storage area for fire suppression equipment should be easy to access, and not locked. Some hotels keep their fire suppression equipment behind locked doors, this is illegal and incorrect. Equipment needs to be stored where it can be seen so that it can be utilized in an emergency.
There should be sprinkler heads in your hotel room, in the hallways and in the stairwells. Each floor should have several alarm pulls that you would activate if you suspect there is a fire on the floor. If you are in your room and an alarm is activated, you should check the door to see if it is hot before you open it.
If you open your hotel door (after feeling that it is not hot), look both ways down the hall before you leave your room. Take only what is necessary (ID and wallet), leave the rest behind. If you have looked around and you have discovered that it is not safe to leave your room, place towels at the bottom of the door to prevent smoke from coming in.
The main thing to look for when it comes to fire safety in hotels is that there is a plan in place. If you start to look around and see no escape route maps, fire suppression equipment or alarm activation switches, it may be time to consider staying somewhere else. The laws in most countries require that adequate safety measures must be followed, but this does not always guarantee your safety. It is up to you to ensure that the hotel is safe for you to stay in before you commit to staying in that hotel.