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How to Survive a Hotel Fire.

How to Survive a Hotel Fire.

Old Jun 1, 07, 10:24 am
  #46  
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Originally Posted by moman View Post
I just stayed in the DuPont Plaza, now known as the San Juan Marriott Stellaris hotel and casino.

I remember reading the story about the fire in readers digest in 1987. I was quite curious to find that the hotel hadn't changed too much from the fire research schematics, but it made me feel wierd to have stood and looked out at the ocean from a place where so many died.
I haven't set foot in that hotel in close to 6 years, and I probably won't again. I don't feel right entering there... hell, I especially don't feel right using the lobby restrooms or being in the Casino knowing that's where they had the highest number of deaths. I stayed there in 2000 and remember hearing sobbing. That's creepy enough for me.
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Old Jun 1, 07, 4:55 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by mkt View Post
I haven't set foot in that hotel in close to 6 years, and I probably won't again. I don't feel right entering there... hell, I especially don't feel right using the lobby restrooms or being in the Casino knowing that's where they had the highest number of deaths. I stayed there in 2000 and remember hearing sobbing. That's creepy enough for me.
Trouble is, the current casino location is not where the fire was. The old casino is where the meeting rooms are BEHIND the elevators. The grand staircase (to the right of the elevators, facing them) is where the fire raced up, and the ballroom down those stairs is where the fire started.

I actually learned about the fire while I was staying in the hotel, and now that I have researched it, I'll pay my respects to the dead when I return. The hotel was very nice; I'd like to stay there again. It did make me feel wierd when I got home and realized I had stood watching the ocean by the windows that people had smashed trying to escape the fire in the casino.
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Old Jan 25, 08, 3:03 pm
  #48  
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Given today's fire in Las Vegas, this might be worth a bump.
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Old Jan 25, 08, 3:29 pm
  #49  
 
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Thanks for the bump and thanks to the OP. Def a good read
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Old Jan 25, 08, 7:17 pm
  #50  
 
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In Korea many of the hotels use ropes as fire escape systems. I just came from the funeral of a coworker who died after not quite recovering from complications as a result of rappelling from his 4th floor room in the middle of the night. He shattered his ankles and lost a leg. RIP friend.
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Old May 27, 09, 1:51 pm
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Sticky anyone???

So, why would this not be sticky worthy? Just put it in the Safety and Security forum on top.

Till
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Old May 27, 09, 2:40 pm
  #52  
 
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I encourage readers to consider my post #21 above regarding the very serious dangers in trying to go to the roof in a hotel fire.

If you hear a fire alarm and are at all uncomfortable, go ahead and call the fire department yourself. In my hotel days, after the Inn on The Park fire in Toronto back in the 80s, we quickly adopted had a protocol that the moment the fire alarm went off the switchboard operator and the Security Officer both immediately called the fire department without waiting to check the source of the alarm. If a guest also called, that was fine with us. Better too many than too few.

Further to my post above, whenever my wife travels, with or without me, I make sure she carries a small flashlight on the flight in hand luggage and to keep on her bedside table in the hotel.

A 2 AA cell LCD mini mag-light is perfect because it is small and powerful, and can be turned into a tabletop lantern by unscrewing the lens and putting it on the other end. One of those headlamps with the headbands and LED light pack would be good too.

Perfect for a power failure, and could be a lifesaver in an emergency in a hotel or aircraft.

In any case, please remember that trying to get to the roof could cost you your life.

Last edited by AC110; May 28, 09 at 8:05 pm
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Old May 27, 09, 4:30 pm
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Great that this was bumped again. I hadn't seen it earlier. Ironic that the original piece which SCMM quoted is quite old. 3 of the hotel fires cited took place in the forties and the last in 1961. Nonetheless, the advice is still sound.
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Old May 28, 09, 2:35 pm
  #54  
 
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I just noticed that this thread was bumped.

I've been in multiple hotels where the fire alarm has gone off, including the San Juan Marriott in 1995. I was in the new wing where I heard the room alarm sputter, then ran down the hall and seven flights of stairs to the lobby. I was told that the fire alarm went off due to steam from a pot in the kitchen, and my mother and sister were in the bathroom near the kitchen - ack! I went back into the hotel for 10 minutes in 1999, and thankfully didn't hear an alarm.

The only time I've not left the building was in the Toronto Marriott Eaton Centre, one of those alarms that talked.

Most of the alarms have been due to people smoking in non-smoking rooms, but I always leave the building anyway because I can't stand loud noises.

Edited to add: a month ago, I was at a hotel where there was a piece of paper left on the bed saying the alarm was going to be tested the next day. I think fire alarms follow me!

Last edited by longwaybackhome; May 28, 09 at 5:23 pm Reason: added information.
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Old May 28, 09, 2:55 pm
  #55  
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After a cousin was involved in the deadly MGM fire (and the horrible stories they told afterwards), and then my parents in another Vegas hotel fire (no one injured and kept low key-can't remember which one), I now carry with me (in my carry-on) a long life LED flashlight and enough disposable smoke hoods for those traveling with me.

I hope to never have to use them.
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Old May 31, 09, 1:11 pm
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Thanks for bumping this post. I've been a guest at three smaller inns where there have been fires in the months after my stay (Lake Placid Lodge in Lake Placid NY, Clifton in Charlottesville VA, Inn Thorn Hill in NH). I believe there were deaths in the Clifton fire. I am always appreciative when someone addresses fire safety. I make a point of locating exits on the hotel floor plan, but will now take original poster advice about actually walking the route to the escape and entering to see if there's more than one door.
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Old Jun 4, 09, 2:35 pm
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I was staying at a hotel last year when the fire alarm went off at around 3 AM. I had a meeting early the next morning, so I didn't appreciate the sleep disruption. I ran down 14 floors and went outside in the snow. There were only about 20-30 people outside, which means that most of the guests ignored the fire alarm. It turned out to be a false alarm. I always evacuate when I hear the fire alarm. Don't you remember how seriously you took fire drills in school? Of course, evacuating meant that you got out of class. But it is extremely important to evacuate any building when you hear the fire alarm.
A few months ago, I was at 30th street station in Philly waiting for a train. The fire alarm started ringing. It was quite a sight to see that everyone was oblivious to the alarm, no one evacuated, and people were in fact covering their ears because of the fire alarm. I went outside, then went back in 10 minutes later and the alarm was still ringing. The place would have been burning if there was a real fire, so I figured it was a false alarm. It turns out that there was smoke coming from a restaurant.
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Old Jun 4, 09, 11:57 pm
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Originally Posted by nd2010 View Post
...But it is extremely important to evacuate any building when you hear the fire alarm.
A few months ago, I was at 30th street station in Philly waiting for a train. The fire alarm started ringing. It was quite a sight to see that everyone was oblivious to the alarm, no one evacuated, and people were in fact covering their ears because of the fire alarm. I went outside, then went back in 10 minutes later and the alarm was still ringing. The place would have been burning if there was a real fire, so I figured it was a false alarm. It turns out that there was smoke coming from a restaurant.
I was actually in Government Center station in Boston a few years ago where the alarm rang for at least a half-hour and no one evacuated, and I include myself in that statement. I just stood there covering my ears - oops, I lied earlier. I never figured out why the alarm had gone off in the first place.

I should probably append this to a thread in the Marriott forum, but does anyone know if the San Juan Marriott still has the (understandably) seemingly most sensitive fire alarm system known to mankind?
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Old Jun 5, 09, 4:02 am
  #59  
 
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Thank you, thank you for writing this thread and to the people who bumped it. My eyes are now opened. :-)

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Old Jun 5, 09, 9:40 am
  #60  
 
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Another thank you for bumping this. I've been reading FT for a few years and this is the first time i've seen this thread. It's extremely valuable information!

Are there any engineers who can answer why the exit signs in the U.S. are placed at ceiling height given that they'll be obscured by smoke? I'm also curious why the alarms are so freaking loud. I realize you want people to take it seriously and possibly it's also intended to be so loud that even deaf people can feel the vibration. I'm just guessing, though. I hate loud noises and whenever they test my office building alarms I do the evacuation drill mad as a wet cat after peeling myself off the ceiling. I know, I know... better that than dead. But still... it's worth asking about.
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