Staying in a hotel means you are at the mercy of the management when it comes to fire safety. There are precautions, however, that can make your stay safer. Keeping these safety measures in mind can make your vacation a relaxing and enjoyable one.
First, you should check with the hotel about fire safety plans. Check about smoke detectors and sprinklers. Develop an escape plan. Set a place near the hotel to meet any others in your party. Some may be in saunas, etc. Also, gather a kit of supplies, such as a flashlight, duct tape, and a portable smoke detector in case one is not provided. If you are traveling in a country other than your native language, learn the word “fire” in that language.
At first check in, ask about the location of fire alarms and what evacuation plan is in force. Check windows for proper function and the possibility of it being an escape route. Take time to master unlocking the door without the use of visual input. Keep a flashlight and your room key on the stand beside your bed. If you are uncomfortable with the hotel’s fire plan, then consider moving to another one.
In the unhappy event of a fire, grab the room key and flashlight, leave immediately, making sure your family or roommate is with you, close the door, sound the fire alarm if there is one in the hall (there should be). Go down the stairs (do not use an elevator) and immediately move to the safe place where you previously planned for.
If there is a fire somewhere else in the hotel, again grab the room key and flashlight. Check the door with the back of your hand to make sure it is not hot. If not, carefully check for smoke in the hallway. If smoke is present, carefully bend low to the floor and exit out a stairwell, checking doors for heat along the way. Do not use an elevator.
If the door in your room feels hot, don’t open it. Exit by the alternate route you have chosen. If you don’t have a second exit route, call for help, then wet towels stuff them at the bottom of the door. Fill the bathtub with water and surround the doors with the duct tape from your kit. Hang a bed sheet from the window to signal firemen. Don’t jump from the window. Wait until the fireman get there and give you directions.
These actions may seem extreme, but in the event of a fire, you won’t think so. Fire codes are stronger than in the past, but accidents still happen. The peace of mind in knowing you have a game plan is worth all the effort.