A fire is, in many ways, a worst case scenario for the hotel industry from the start. Hotels and motels are probably the worst possible places in which a fire could bring out. For one thing, hotels and motels are notoriously difficult to evacuate. This is especially true for hotels with high-rise floors. By the time guests are made aware of a fire, it could be too late for them to evacuate, and it’s very difficult for firefighters to reach people on the upper levels in time to rescue them. There is also a higher risk of fires breaking out in hotels and motels, not only because these buildings have expanded spaces in general, but because of their extensive electrical wiring — which always flammable — and the risk of malfunctioning in ovens and stoves. Most hotels and motels have at least one big kitchen, and some have smaller kitchenettes in individual rooms as well — this leaves plenty of opportunities for dangerous fires. In fact, it’s believed that each year hotel and motel fires cause 15 deaths and 150 injuries, plus $76 million in damages. So — what are the best fire protection systems available, and how can we take advantage of them? Below, we’ll list some of the best fire alarm services and fire protection systems — so that you can figure out what’s right for your building.
1. Fire Extinguishers
Traditional fire extinguishers — sometimes known as chemical fire suppressants — are what a lot of people immediately think of when it comes to fire protection systems. But in many cases, they aren’t ideal. For one thing, they only function as fire protection or fire suppressants; they don’t have a dual alarm quality. You’ll only think to use a fire extinguisher, in other words, if some other system has already alerted you to the presence of a fire. However, the main problem with traditional fire extinguishers is that many people don’t necessarily know how to use them. For that matter, they’re rather large and thus difficult for younger or weaker people to even pick them up, let alone use them the way they must. Often, people need to be trained to properly use fire extinguishers. Furthermore, the chemicals used in traditional fire extinguishers just aren’t always necessary. It’s estimated that in conditions with large commercial ovens, non-chemical suppressant systems worked effectively 96% of the time. So if a traditional fire extinguisher isn’t the best option for you, what is?
2. Fire Alarms
Fire alarms obviously are necessary — some states require them by law. A traditional fire alarm at the very least lets out a loud noise, ideally alerting people to a fire’s presence. But obviously, this doesn’t work for the hearing-impaired. Therefore, many updated fire alarms are accompanied by a bright flash of light with each alarm tone. Fire alarms shouldn’t be dismissed, and they’re certainly beneficial. But while they’ll warn you about the presence of a fire, they don’t do much to suppress it. This is to say, fire alarms don’t exactly fall into the category of fire protection systems. Therefore, particularly in hotels and motels, they best work when combined with something else — a system that can alert anyone, even if they’re both visually impaired and hearing impaired, while at the same time suppressing the fire.
3. Sprinkler Systems
Sprinkler systems are incredibly effective when it comes to not only suppressing fires, but alerting people of the danger. It’s pretty difficult to be unaware of a fire’s presence when you’re being doused with water, after all. In the past, some were hesitant to install sprinklers in hotels and motels because they were afraid of the water damage that would result from sprinklers being accidentally triggered. However, quick release sprinklers only release 24 gallons of water per minute. This is very little compared to the 80 to 125 gallons released per minute by fire hoses, and ensures that the fire is doused while avoiding water damage.