Vacations are meant to be exciting, relaxing, and fun — that is why Americans spend millions of dollars on travel and vacation expenses every year. Unfortunately, some of those who go on vacation may not have the luxury of returning as hotel and motel fires claim 15 lives every year and injure an average 150 more each and every year. The damages caused by hotel fire is so significant that the damages amount to an annual total of $76 million in property loss alone. As a hotel provider, it is the hotel’s obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of guests and staff alike; due to their high risk for fire, it is best to ensure that your hotel is equipped with the best early detection software from a trusted fire protection company.
Although countermeasures are a must for any hotel looking to minimize the damage of fires, the employees are actually the first line of defense against fires. Ensuring that your employees are properly trained on how and when to attempt to combat a fire could be the difference between an enflamed garbage can and a roaring blaze. Not all fires react the same, as there are different classifications based on the fire’s fuel source. Class A fires are those ignited with trash, wood, paper, or some other solid combustible material; these fires can be doused with water. A Class B fire is one that ignited from a combustible liquid like gasoline — in order to stop a Class B fire, one should only use a fire extinguisher with a dry chemical flame retardant to stop the chemical reaction that is causing the fire to burn. A Class C fire is caused from malfunctioning electrical equipment; do not use water to combat a Class C fire, as this may in fact make the fire worse — instead use a dry powder fire extinguisher to cut off the fire’s oxygen supply. A fourth type of fire — Class K fires — may in fact be a hotel’s greatest threat to fire protection.
Controlling Your Danger Areas
Class K fires are so named as they are kitchen fires that result from the burning of cooking fats and oils. Although one may be quick to dismiss Class K fires as similar to Class B fires, in truth Class K fires burn much hotter than typical Class B fires; thus the extinguishing methods used for Class B fires will not work on Class K flames. Class K fires are extremely dangerous with the potential to cause severe burns and life-threatening injuries, for this reason it is essential to have your suppression equipment installed by a certified fire protection company. In many cases, fire marshals require commercial cooking areas to be equipped with an over head hood for ventilation and fire suppression purposes. Class K fire suppression equipment uses a wet chemical extinguishing agent that mixes with the fat or oil to cut off the fire’s supply of oxygen, thus dousing the flames. Always ensure that your kitchen and other danger areas are routinely inspected by a certified fire protection company to keep guests and employees safe.
How Effective are Fire Sprinkler Systems?
Fire sprinklers have changed little over the years for a good reason: they work. A study of fires found that sprinklers operated effectively in 91% of all reported structure fires that were large enough to set them off. There is no record of a fire killing more than two people in a building completely protected by sprinklers where the system was operating properly according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Alternatives to traditional sprinklers include quick response sprinklers which are designed to disperse eight to 24 gallons of water per minute compared to the 80 to 125 gallons per minute dispersed by a fire hose — this helps minimize damages caused by the firefighters themselves. When combined with early warning systems, the use of automatic sprinklers can help reduce overall injuries, property damages, and loss of life by half. Contact your local fire protection company to schedule a consultation to ensure that your hotel is as safe as you think it should be.