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How to Survive a Hotel Fire.

How to Survive a Hotel Fire.

Old Jun 11, 09, 8:13 am
  #61  
 
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I take this issue pretty seriously.

When my clients put me up at a hotel that I find deficient in fire escape exit and systems, I will ask that they rebook me into another hotel on a subsquent stay. If bad enough, I'll ask to be rebooked during the middle of my business trip.

I have never been apart of a fire evacuation at any of my hotel stays, but what's to say that I don't encounter a fire during my next stay?

Oh, and for people who pull fire alarms as a joke, grow the *@!& up.

Last edited by mjcewl1284; Jun 11, 09 at 8:20 am
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Old Jun 11, 09, 3:29 pm
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by mjcewl1284 View Post
I take this issue pretty seriously.

When my clients put me up at a hotel that I find deficient in fire escape exit and systems, I will ask that they rebook me into another hotel on a subsquent stay. If bad enough, I'll ask to be rebooked during the middle of my business trip.

I have never been apart of a fire evacuation at any of my hotel stays, but what's to say that I don't encounter a fire during my next stay?

Oh, and for people who pull fire alarms as a joke, grow the *@!& up.
Wow, that's harsh.

If I were your client I might not react very kindly to such an attitude. The only exception would be if you had ever been in a hotel fire or had loved a hotel fire. You would have been so traumatized that you will let me as your client know this and kindly ask for a hotel with good fire precautions BEFORE I book it for you. Even then, I would probably say that I know nothing about fire precautions and that you can gladly select your own hotel within a certain standard and have them send me the bill.

If you were just complaining to me that the hotel I booked for you was not up to your personal safety standards, I would look for another vendor unless you are in a monopoly position and my life depended on you.

Till
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Old Jun 11, 09, 10:47 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by tfar View Post
Wow, that's harsh.

If I were your client I might not react very kindly to such an attitude. The only exception would be if you had ever been in a hotel fire or had loved a hotel fire.
My family and loved ones personal experiences dealing with hotel fires has very little to do with this topic.

You would have been so traumatized that you will let me as your client know this and kindly ask for a hotel with good fire precautions BEFORE I book it for you.
Which I do before I visit a new client each time.

If you were just complaining to me that the hotel I booked for you was not up to your personal safety standards, I would look for another vendor unless you are in a monopoly position and my life depended on you.
I wouldn't complain but would ask nicely that I did not find the hotel suitable for my needs. And since my business trips are in Asia, most of them are more than willing to comply (that's not racist, I myself am Asian).

Their companies depend on me when I account for 60-75% of their yearly orders. Lucky me I guess.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 12:15 am
  #64  
 
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Thanks for the answer. So then how do you tell them what you are looking for? What criteria do you give them to find a suitable hotel. Do you tell them: Please book me a room not higher than 8th floor, no more than five doors from an emergency exit in a hotel that has had the least alarms or incidents possible in the last ten years?

Otherwise, how do they find out what you find suitable? Do you know what the fire codes are in the area you visit? Are you able to judge whether the hotel you stay in is conform to the code?

I take it you are buying from them and not the other way around, right?

The reason I said the thing about the personal experience is that I would sympathize with somebody that has had such an experience more than with somebody who is just very stressed out about hotel fires.

Does this mean that you also take special precautions at home?

I for instance, have fire extinguishers in the kitchen, in the office and in the hometheatre room. The house is all ground level and I can get out the window from any room. So I am not terribly worried. It's also new construction and I live alone. I did unhook all my smoke alarms because they are so sensitive that I can't toast a single slice of bread or cook a meal without them going off.

Till
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Old Jun 12, 09, 7:42 am
  #65  
 
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The hotels on my company's recommended list are evaluated for fire safety and removed from the list if they are found wanting.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 8:33 am
  #66  
 
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I evacuated during a fire alarm at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Was a false alarm. Good thing because there must have been about six of us that evacuated. Everyone else including my coworkers ignored it. They said that they just figured it was a false alarm. I wonder how many deaths are caused by just that.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 8:34 am
  #67  
 
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Listen to the alarms

The most important advise I can give - pay attention to the fire alarms. I have been the only person leaving at the sound of the fire alarm MANY times. It is not worth the risk that it's the real thing rather than a false alarm.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 10:14 pm
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by Menace to Sobriety View Post
I evacuated during a fire alarm at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Was a false alarm. Good thing because there must have been about six of us that evacuated. Everyone else including my coworkers ignored it. They said that they just figured it was a false alarm. I wonder how many deaths are caused by just that.
When I stayed at that hotel, in November 1985 or so, when it was a Loews hotel, there was no fire alarm, but someone had just jumped to his death in the atrium. Lovely.

And again, the one time I've not left a hotel when the fire alarm went off was when the fire alarm told us not to. I hate loud noises so much that I can't stay inside.
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Old Jun 12, 09, 11:00 pm
  #69  
 
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Thanks for bumping this. Very good tips.

Personally, been in the same hotel (Hilton Brand in New Jersey) twice where the fire alarms went off (our company was having a conference here - and for three of the four weeks, the fire alarms went off several times - we're having the conference at our office this year).

The first time, the omelet station was positioned under the fire alarms. After the alarms went off several times over the course of an hour or so, someone got the wise idea of covering all the alarms on the top floor with the plastic "chef" gloves. They remained that way for the rest of the week (I was not pleased with this). Most didn't evacuate either.

I was not there for the second time.

The third time it went off, we were just arriving and checking in (around 8:00 AM) on a Monday. There was an electrical fire in the laundry facilities and the building lost power.

Fire officials and building inspectors decided to do an inspection (I guess three alarms in three weeks will do that) and called in reinforcements from neighboring towns. They had a good number of violations from what I understand (they didn't restore power until after 6:00 PM to the rooms and 8:00 PM to the common areas).

Common area air conditioning (this was in the summer) wasn't restored until Thursday of that week. Meanwhile, they brought in mobile cooling units for us.

FWIW, I've been in both Grand Central Terminal and Secaucus Junction, both pretty major rail stations in NYC when the fire alarms were going off (lights only, no sirens). No one seems to pay attention to them, but I will always ask someone official what's going on (normally the visual system is being tested) or I will get out if I can't find someone (or prepare to get out at Secaucus).

Last edited by andyli; Jun 12, 09 at 11:03 pm Reason: clarity
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Old Jun 14, 09, 6:19 am
  #70  
 
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I've not been in a hotel fire but a Motorcycle accident caused petrol to spill on my clothes and then catch alight, my advice here is if you find yourself in this position, roll on the ground and keep rolling, standing or running you can feel the lack of oxygen to breathe, it seems longer than it is before the flames go out but keep rolling, do not stand up
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Old Jun 14, 09, 9:25 am
  #71  
 
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A good friend of mine always used to walk the evacuation routes before he'd even unpacked his bags. His colleagues called him nuts....until a hotel caught fire a week after he'd stayed there.

Personally, I feel safer if there are sprinklers in addition to the normal fire detection equipment.

btw, some colleagues of mine were in a bar and noticed all the detectors had the yellow plastic installation covers still on. They decided to tell the manager that his system, which was brand new and cost thousands, was basically useless. The manager didn't even realise and was on the phone immediately to the installers.
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Old Jun 14, 09, 11:56 am
  #72  
 
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So there I was in a 8-10 floor Holiday Inn, Alexandria VA.

My clothes were laid out neatly for an interview later that morning.

I am standing buck naked (sorry for the visual) shaving after a long morning shower and I heard sirens. I walked over to look out the window and saw nothing but smoke. I grabbed my pants, shoes and shirt on the way to the door, stopped to take a deep breath and tried to remember where the two nearest exits I scouted out the night before.

I felt the door; it was cool to the touch. Slowly opened the door with my body pressed against it, nothing happened.

The hall was clear and I headed to the exit at the far end of the hall, trying to get away from the smoke outside my window. That exit was clear and I went down and got out OK.

Fortunately everyone got out OK.

What bothered me about the entire incident was they never rang any alarms in the hotel.
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Old Jun 14, 09, 3:36 pm
  #73  
 
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I was at the Embassy Suites in Santa Ana last week and noticed that all the fire doors were marked with EXIT at floor level as well as the illuminated sign at ceiling level.

So some things are getting better in some places.

My dad was in a New Orleans hotel fire in the late 60's or early 70's. Got out fine, but lost almost everything.

He and I were staying in Toronto when the alarm went off. He was 80+ and had angina so we got dressed and exited (9 flights down) despite the voice system telling us to stay in our room while the cause of the alarm was being investigated. No fire.

Finally, the alarms went off when we were traveling with Dad on holiday. He was in the shower and didn't hear it but my 11 year old son notified his grandfather and ready to evacuate by the time I got from the front desk to his room (I was in the lobby when the alarm went off.) I praised him but then pointed out that waiting in the room was safe in this case (it was a ground floor motel room!) The poor kid was so used to high rise hotels he followed the safety drill automatically without thinking about his surroundings. (That one was a small fire in the kitchen.)

(Yes, we did fire drills at home when the kids were little - I ran a home day care and we'd have a drill at least once a year, including a drill that required them to find an alternate exit - I'd stand between them and the nearest door after triggering a smoke detector and scream "I'm the big fire!" as they came around the corner so they'd have to quickly rethink their exit plan.)
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Old Jun 14, 09, 3:59 pm
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by KathrynInCanada View Post
I was at the Embassy Suites in Santa Ana last week and noticed that all the fire doors were marked with EXIT at floor level as well as the illuminated sign at ceiling level.
I think that might be an Embassy Suites thing as I saw this in the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton, FL.
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Old Oct 16, 09, 1:51 am
  #75  
 
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I'm going to bump this because lately I've been torturing myself by googling fire alarms and hotel fires at four in the morning, and I just got this thread as a result.

I just remembered that this summer in Barcelona, during one of the mornings of our stay at the Fira Palace, there was a fire. My mother and I were in the lobby, and I was on one of the free computers, and all of a sudden she pointed out that there was a thick cloud of smoke in the air. I'm about 5'5" and I think it reached about chin level from the ceiling. I definitely didn't hear a fire alarm and I didn't smell a thing until my mother pointed out the smoke cloud. I eventually smelled burning plastic.

Thankfully, we were about to leave the building anyway, but the (automatic) revolving door wasn't working and the automatic door was stuck open. Now that I think about it, the reason so few people left the building must have been that they'd already left for the day, but people took the elevators down to the lobby, and again, I never heard the fire alarm.

I don't think anyone ever told us the reason for the fire, though it was assumed to be something burning in the parking lot.

And if my family takes a vacation somewhere warm in December, I really hope it's not to San Juan...
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