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Incidents of Fires at Hotels and Motels - and How to Prevent Them

Staying in a hotel signals an event out of the norm, something a little special. Even if it’s just for a work trip, it can be a refreshing break of pace. When we stay in hotels, we’re usually not thinking about all the details that need to be attended to that make our stay not just comfortable but also safe. If you’re in the hotel or motel industry, you know first-hand what’s involved. One concern of primary importance to both hotel guests and employees is fire safety and prevention. By looking at some common factors in hotel and motel fires, we can better protect both human life and property.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a fantastic provider of detailed information relating to fires and the prevention of them. In a report the NFPA published, they provided data on hotel and motel fires (which includes seasonal and year-round occupancies, along with multi-purpose functions such as meeting rooms, banquet halls, restaurants, etc.) from 2009 – 2013. Today, we will take a closer look at that data.

During the report time period (2009 – 2013), each year there were about 3500 instances of fires at hotels and motels. These fires accounted for a mere 1% of fires reported for that year. On the average, 9 civilians were killed in these fires each year, along with 120 reported civilian injuries and $84 million in property damage.

As far as the primary causes of fires at motels and hotels, the kitchen was the starting point for most of them – 41% to be exact. Half of those kitchen fires listed cooking equipment as the main culprit. Kitchen fires were also responsible of 8% of the total deaths in hotel fires as well as 25% of civilian injuries and 8% of property damage.

Beyond the kitchen, we can also look at the fires that took place in the guest bedrooms. These fires only amounted to 12% of the total (compared to 41% of kitchen fires), yet the damage from bedroom fires was $14 million (compared to $6 million from kitchen fires). We can conclude that while bedroom fires occur less frequently, they cause much more of the property damage – more than double the financial loss.

What should this say to hotel or motel owners? A big takeaway from this report highlights the importance of flameproofing. Decorative items in a guest bedroom such as curtains, drapes, carpets, hangings, upholstery are treated with flame repellents. This treatment causes the materials to be non-combustible, no longer a contributing factor to the spread and severity of a fire. This prevents damage to surrounding property as well as makes time for guests and employees to evacuate while the fire department arrives. This makes a huge difference in protecting human life as well as valuable property!

Every hotel and motel owner needs to be sure that the flameproofing treatments for his property are up to date. While fires are not common occurrences in hotels and motels, when they do happen, the results can be devastating for everyone involved, if not properly protected.

If you need flameproofing treatments at your business location, please call us today! Manhattan Flameproofing has been serving all 5 boroughs of New York City and the surrounding areas for more than 50 years. As industry leaders, we would love to add you to our list of satisfied customers. Please call today to receive a free, no-obligation estimate and discuss your questions and concerns! 1-800-268-7993 

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