By Bill Lecky
Count the doors between your room and the exit.
An estimated 3,900 hotel and motel fires are reported each year in the United States. Use these tips to ensure that you stay safe during your vacation or business overnight.
- Choose a hotel or motel that is protected by both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system. The U.S. Fire Administration provides a master list you can search to find hotels and motels that adhere to life safety requirements.
- Pack a flashlight and keep it on your nightstand in case you need to escape in the dark.
- Read the fire evacuation plan carefully. If one is not posted in your room, request one from the front desk.
- Locate the two exits nearest your room and fire alarms on your floor.
- Count the number of doors between your room and the exits to assist you in the event of an emergency evacuation.
- If the fire is in your room, get out quickly. Close the door, sound the alarm and notify the front desk.
- If the fire is not in your room, touch the door with the back of your hand to see if it is safe to leave.
- If your room door is hot, do not open it. Instead, seal the door with wet towels or sheets. Turn off the fan, heater and air conditioner. Call the fire department to give your location.
- If the door is cool, open it slowly. Be ready to close it quickly if there are flames on the other side. Take your room key with you in case fire blocks your escape and you need to re-enter your room.
- Stay low by crawling on the ground, where the smoke is the least dense, to the nearest exit.
- Always use a stairwell, never an elevator.
Used by permission from the U.S. Fire Administration website. This material is not the complete and official position of the USFA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety. Download the complete USFA Hotel Fire Safety handbook.
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