The UK Hotel sector employs over 1 million people in over 45,000 establishments. Hotel building types vary enormously as does ownership method and layout.
A number of high profile hotel fires have led to significant fines and prosecutions and changes in the way in which hotel fire safety is managed.
In 2014 there were 15 £100,000 plus hotel fires causing over £18,000,000 worth of damage.
PEOPLE AT RISK
Hotels by definition accommodate a wide variety of people. Guests asleep at the time of a fire will behave very differently to if they were fully alert. Children will be present and parents will want to ensure they are safe before escaping. Legally, hotels must provide adequate facilities for the evacuation of people with disabilities and the old and infirm. Adjustments including Evacuation chairs must be provided and specialist staff training given.
Hotels contain a broad variety of fabrics and finishes which must be correctly fire retardant. Cleaning materials must be correctly stored and laundry supplies require appropriate management.
Guests bring a host of items and can create hazards demanding a very high standard of detection and warning in common spaces and hotel rooms.
UK Fire Training courses takes all of this into account.
Possible fire sources in hotels include smoking and cooking equipment. Large scale catering facilities including ovens and fryers in kitchens create unique hazards. Reheating facilities and toasters used by guests also need to be carefully managed.
UK Fire Training discuss this issue and provide a routine check list to allow delegates to manage this situation.
HOTEL FIRE EXAMPLES
Arson arrest after fire at Premier Inn hotel in Haverford west
A 26-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a fire at the West Wales hotel, where 133 guests were staying.
The blaze led to the hotel, which had more than 100 guests staying at the time, being evacuated.
The fire at the hotel, on Fisghuard Road, Haverfordwest, was extinguished at around 6.30am.
A Dyfed-Powys Police spokeswoman said: “At approximately 6.30am on Sunday, 18 January 2015, police were alerted to a fire at the Premier Inn, Fishguard Road, Haverfordwest.
“Officers attended, but the fire had been extinguished.
“A 26-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of arson and driving whilst over the prescribed limit, and remains in custody.”
No injuries were reported among the hotel’s 133 guests.
Hotel guests evacuated from London Hilton in Mayfair following fire in bedroom
Hotel guests were evacuated from the London Hilton hotel in Mayfair last night after a fire broke out in a bedroom.
Around 100 guests were evacuated from the upmarket hotel as a precaution at around 7.40pm last night.
Sprinklers in the hotel, located in Park Lane, helped extinguish the fire and the London Fire Brigade said it was under control just after 9pm.
Two rooms were left damaged by the blaze and are currently not being used by guests.
There were no reports of any injuries.
It is thought the fire was located in an executive room on the 25 room, which offers spectacular views of London and can cost up to £500 a night.
A Hilton Worldwide spokeswoman said: “All guests were safely evacuated by our team and fire officers, and there were no reported injuries.
“We appreciate the prompt response of the London Fire Brigade, who contained the fire and carried out extensive safety checks. A small number of guests were relocated to other floors last night while checks were carried out.”
She said an investigation is underway to find out the cause of the fire.
Mark Andrews, London Fire Brigade Deputy Assistant Commissioner, praised the hotel for its good practice in dealing with the fire.
He said: “This fire highlights the clear benefits of sprinklers to businesses like the hotel industry.
“There is no doubt that in this case the sprinkler system prevented a more serious fire from spreading into other areas of the hotel and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.”
Lochaber Hotel Fire
A precious collection of World War II memorabilia was saved from destruction during a serious fire at a Highland hotel.
The restaurant area of the Spean Bridge Hotel was badly damaged during a blaze in the roof. Three bedrooms also suffered minor damage.
Luckily no guests were in the premises at the time and staff were able to escape and alert the fire service before the fire spread to the main part of the building.
The hotel remains open and guests are staying in chalet accommodation in the grounds.
The hotel is best known for the Commando Bar, which was a favoured drinking spot of commandos training at Achnacarry Castle during World War II.
A collection of memorabilia from the time is housed in the bar after being collected by a previous owner.
Hotel manager Beth Sessions said: “Thankfully the Commando Bar is totally unaffected by fire and smoke.
“We are so pleased none of the commando memorabilia has been affected in any way as a result of the fire.”
Crews used breathing apparatus, two main jets and one hose reel jet to bring the fire under control.
They were on scene for more than eight hours.
The fire caused around extensive damage to the roof above the restaurant area and there is fire and smoke damage to several bedrooms.
Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing but there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.