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Fire Safety for the Traveler

Fire safety at home and abroad is a matter of thinking ahead, knowing what to do, and keeping your fear under control. Panic and smoke are the most dangerous threats in the case of a fire. To minimize the risk of a fire, the traveler should remember the precautions listed below and where feasible:

Stay only at hotels which have smoke detectors and/or sprinklers installed in all rooms and provide information about fire/safety procedures.

Request a room between the second and seventh floor. Most fire departments do not have the capability to rescue people above the seventh floor level with external rescue equipment (i.e., ladders).

Inquire as to how guests are notified if there is an emergency.

Your Hotel Room

Note the location of the fire exits (stairs) on your floor. Count the number of doors between your room and the exit. If there is a fire, you may have to crawl there in the dark.

Check exit doors to be sure that they are unlocked and that stairwells are clear of obstructions.

Note the location of fire alarms, extinguishers and hoses and read any fire safety information available in your room.

Check outside your room window to ascertain if there is a possible escape route that would be feasible in an extreme emergency.

In Case of a Fire


Call the front desk and notify them of the location of the fire.

Check your door by placing your palm on the door and then on the door knob. If either feels hot, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR.

If it is safe to exit from your room, head for the stairs. TAKE YOUR ROOM KEY WITH YOU, YOU MAY HAVE TO RETURN TO YOUR ROOM.

If the corridor is full of smoke, crawl to the exit and again check the door before opening it to see if it is hot. The fire could be in the stairwell.


If you can not leave your room or the stairwells are unsafe and you must return to your room:

Notify the front desk that you are in your room awaiting rescue.

Open a window for fresh air. Do not break the window as you may need to close it again if smoke starts to enter from the outside.

Fill the tub and sink with water. Soak towels and blankets as necessary to block vents and openings around doors to keep the smoke and fumes out.

Attempt to keep the walls, doors and towels covering vents and cracks cool and wet.

A wet towel swung around the room will help clear the room of smoke.

Cover your mouth and nose with a wet cloth.

Stay low, but alert to any signs of rescue from the street or the halls. Let the firemen know where you are by waving a towel or sheet out the window.

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