Every year there are almost 4,000 hotel and motel fires reported to U.S. fire departments, resulting in $76 million in property loss, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Almost 50 percent of these fires are started by cooking. Fortunately, they tend to stay small and confined. One of the most memorable and deadly fires was the MGM Hotel fire in Las Vegas in 1980 which killed 85 people and injured scores more.
Since I started in the fire prevention business years ago, many positive changes have been made to make hotel and motel kitchens safer, but still fires do He added that kitchens can be retrofitted as well.
Rouse offered 5 tips travelers can take to protect themselves:
- Make sure that you confirm that the hotel or motel is equipped with automatic sprinklers and fire alarms before you travel – this is especially important for trips outside the country as the strict U.S. standards may not apply.
- Pack a small flashlight.
- Review the evacuation map posted on the floor where you are staying.
- If there is a fire, always use a stairwell and not an elevator.
If there is a fire, feel the door of your room. If it is hot, keep it closed and seal it with wet towels. Call 911 and let the operator know which room in the hotel you are staying, and signal from your window. Break it if you have to.
The Guardian is designed to detect and extinguish cooking fires and at the same time prevents re-ignition. Once it detects heat at a pre-determined temperature, a signal is sent to release the extinguishing agent to suppress the fire and to shut off the gas or electric supply to the stove in order to prevent reigniting. The design of the system offers:
- automatic operation
- continuous 24-hour protection
- concealed installation
- easy clean-up
- proven reliability
“It is imperative to minimize damage and injury to travelers and employees alike,” Rouse said. “The Guardian system provides speed and protection.”