Many hotels outside of the US are not as fire-resistant as those in the US. Many interior materials are highly combustible. Exits may be limited or sealed, and escape routes may not be indicated in halls. Water and firefighting equipment may be in short supply. There may be no quick way to notify the fire department. Sprinklers and smoke detectors may not be present.
You must proactively assume responsibility for your own and your family’s safety. Consider a backup plan and talk it over with your family. As soon as you check into a hotel, start preparing your fire escape. If a fire breaks out, you’ll be able to react quickly and without panic.
Staying in a modern hotel should ensure that you are protected by the most up-to-date fire-safety features. Request to be placed on a lower floor, preferably the second or third. You can jump to safety if you choose a room no higher than the second story. Despite the fact that most fire departments can reach the second level, they may not be able to reach you in time or position a fire engine on your side of the building.
As soon as you check in, locate exits and stairways, and double-check that the doors are open. Count how many doors there are between your room and the exit or stairwell. You might have to feel your way out of a smoke-filled corridor. Make a mental blueprint of how you’ll get out.
Locate the nearest alarm if the hotel has a fire alarm system. Make certain you understand how to use it. It’s possible that you’ll have to activate it in the dark or when there’s a lot of smoke.
Make sure the windows in your room open and that you understand how the latches work. Consider looking out the window and mentally rehearsing your escape. Make a mental note of any ledges or decks that might be useful for escaping.
Push the test button on the smoke detector to see if it’s working. If it doesn’t work, get it mended or relocate to a different room. You may also bring your own portable smoke detector (with the battery removed for travel) and set it near the ceiling in your room near the hall door.
Keep the room key and a flashlight on your bedside table so you can readily find it if you need to leave the room.
If you wake up to the smell of smoke in your room, grab your key and crawl on your hands and knees to the door.
Do not stand; the fresher air will be near the bottom, and the smoke and poisonous gases will rise.
Feel the door with the back of your hand before opening it. (Do not use your palm; a burned palm may render your hand unusable for a short period of time.) The fire could be immediately outside if the door or knob is hot. Slowly open the door. If there’s a fire nearby, be prepared to slam it shut.
Crawl into the hallway if your exit path is clear. If you need to return to your room, make careful to close the door behind you to keep smoke out. Because most hotel doors lock automatically, take your key. To prevent getting trampled, stay near to the wall.
During a fire, do not use elevators; they may malfunction, or if they have heat-activated call buttons, they may send you right to the floor where the fire is.
Stay on the same side of the escape door as you approach the fire exit. Count the number of exit doors.
When you get to the exit, take the stairwell down to the departure floor. Hold on to the railing for support and to avoid being knocked down by other passengers.
If there is a lot of smoke in the stairs, don’t try to run through it; you might not be able to. Turn around and walk up to the roof fire exit instead. To keep from being shut out and to ventilate the stairwell, prop the door open. Locate the windward side of the roof, take a seat, and wait for the firefighters to arrive.
You’ll be better off staying in your room if all exits are blocked if there’s a lot of smoke in the hallway. Turn on the bathroom vent if there is smoke in your room.
Close doors and windows unless you need to escape, signal, or have difficulties breathing; opening doors or windows during a fire can attract the fire, smoke, and heat in.
If a window can’t be opened, don’t shatter it. Later, you may need to close the window to keep the smoke out, and broken glass could damage you or those below.
If your phone is working, call the front desk to let someone know where you are, or contact 911 to report your location in the facility. As a signal, hang a bed sheet out the window.
Fill the bathtub halfway full with water. Using an ice bucket or a waste basket, pour water on your door or any scorching walls. Wet towels should be stuffed into holes under and around doors where smoke can get in. To assist filter out smoke, place a moist towel over your mouth and nose. Take down the draperies and move everything combustible away from the window if there is a fire outside.
If you’re above the second story, fighting the fire in your room is generally a better option than jumping. A jump from the third level or higher could result in serious injury or death.
Remember that the consequences of a fire, such as super-heated gases and smoke, are frequently more dangerous than the fire itself. You will be less likely to panic and more likely to survive if you know your escape strategy ahead of time.
Despite the fact that fire may not seem as spectacular as terrorism, it kills considerably more people each year than international terrorism. In many nations, there are no fire rules, firefighting equipment is outdated, water supplies are insufficient, and structures are built to bare minimum standards.
Thousands of people die each year in house fires, with half of them dying in their sleep as a result of the toxic chemicals and smoke. Many of those who do survive spend months in hospitals and bear physical and emotional scars for the rest of their lives. Children are frequently murdered as a result of their terror and attempts to flee the fire by hiding under beds and in closets.
The majority of this catastrophe can be avoided. The usage of smoke detectors has reduced the number of annual fire fatalities in the United States by half in just a few years. Education about fire safety is increasingly improving the odds.
Whether you’re in the United States or abroad, follow these simple actions to keep your family safe from fire:
Smoke detectors should be installed in your home.
With your family, make a fire escape plan.
At least once every six months, conduct a fire drill.
Detectors of Smoke
You may never wake up if a fire breaks out in your home; smoke and toxic fumes kill quietly and rapidly. However, the same smoke that might kill you might also rescue you if a smoke detector is activated.
A smoke detector will sound an alarm before you can smell or see any flames. Smoke alarms should be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the house, including the basement, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) and/or along the stairwell to the upper floor on levels without bedrooms.
Once a month, and whenever you return from vacation, smoke detectors must be inspected. Never, ever, ever paint them. They should be vacuumed once a year to remove any dust or cobwebs that could obstruct their operation.
Make sure that everyone in the family is familiar with the alert’s sound; test it by placing all family members in their bedrooms with the doors closed to ensure that they can hear it.
Because fire and smoke spread quickly, you may only have a few minutes to flee. It is critical that each family member understands what to do in an emergency.
Your best bet is to prepare a fire escape plan. Draw a floor layout of your home with your family, noting any possible exits. Because a fire could block any exit, you should always have a backup plan. Know where you’re going ahead of time. Check that exits open and that youngsters can open and close doors and windows on their own.
All windows, doors, and exterior features should be visible. Make a list of possible escape routes, such as a tree or a balcony, and double-check that they will work.
Find the nearest fire alarm box or the house of a neighbor. Teach your children how to call 911 in the event of a fire.
Make a meeting location outside the house. You need to know who might be locked inside right away.
A copy of the floor layout should be posted near the phone. Inform household employees/babysitters about emergency protocols and who to contact in the event of an emergency.
Make sure you practice your strategy! Regular fire drills ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Changing the fictitious circumstances from drill to drill is a good idea. Determine the location of the “fire” and which exits are blocked. When little infants learn by rote what to do, they are less likely to become anxious in real-life situations.
If there are any dogs trapped in the house, alert the firefighters. Do not attempt to obtain them on your own. The dangers of a fire are immense, and the first priority is to save human life. Pets will frequently flee before you do.
Extinguishers are used to put out fires.
A fire extinguisher should be kept in every home. Make sure the extinguisher works and that you understand how to use it.
On a small, restricted fire, such as a cooking fire, portable fire extinguishers can be beneficial. However, if a fire is huge and spreading, utilizing an extinguisher could be dangerous; you risk inhaling toxic smoke and cutting off your escape path.
Only use a fire extinguisher after making sure everyone else is out of the building, calling the fire department, and ensuring you can safely approach the fire.
Make sure the room door is closed before using a window escape; otherwise, a draft from an open window could carry smoke and fire into the room.
If at all possible, use an escape ladder or a balcony. If there isn’t one, don’t leap; instead, wait as long as you can for help. While you’re waiting, open a window a few inches at both the top and bottom; gases will escape via the top and fresher air will enter from the bottom.