All businesses must take the risk of fire seriously, none more so than the hospitality sector. Following our earlier blog “Staying away could cost you your life”, we examine the risks a little more.
The UK has seen many serious incidents over the years as the very nature of a hotel makes it a higher risk. The vast majority of guests will be unfamiliar with the building layout and the fact that many may be under the influence of alcohol underlines the importance of fire safety, risk assessment and of course, a reliable and effective fire detection system.
Researching some of the world’s worst incidents in recent times to understand the risk and dangers, we find the example of The MGM Grand fire that occurred on November 21, 1980 at the Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fire killed 85 people, most through smoke inhalation. The tragedy remains the worst disaster in Nevada history and the third worst hotel fire in modern American history, after the 1946 Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlantathat killed 119 people and the DuPont Plaza Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico fire on December 31, 1986, in which 97 perished.
The disaster underlined the fact that during a building fire, smoke inhalation is a much more serious threat than flames. 75 people died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, four from smoke inhalation alone, three from burns and smoke inhalation, only one person died from burns alone, and one person died from massive skull trauma, caused by jumping from a high window.
Due to faulty smoke dampers within the ventilation system, the toxic fumes circulated throughout the hotel’s air circulation system, accelerating the spread of the poisonous gases. Most of the victims died from smoke inhalation, most of them in their sleep.
The need for an effective and reliable fire detection system to alert guests to any danger is of paramount importance, and sound levels at bedhead must meet that which is stated in BS5839.
Risk Assessments must be in place and be regularly re-visited to review any changes or to highlight any new risks and evacuation plans put in place.
The good news is that incidents such as this are extremely rare but the potential exists. Only by meeting and exceeding the requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and installing the very best in fire protection, as well as implementing best practice, any future risks can be further reduced
EMS offer Fire Safety seminars to concerned hoteliers and are a silver supplier to the British Hospitality Association. As such, we offer all members of the BHA a FREE seminar as well as advice and assistance in achieving the very highest levels of fire safety.