Hotel Insurance (Helping to Prevent Hotel Fires)
Guest safety is of paramount importance in all hotels and one of the biggest worries for hotel owners and guests alike is the threat of fire. Whilst fire is one of the major perils covered by a hotel insurance policy and compensation can be claimed following an insured incident, a fires potential impact on both property and life is so severe, that all possible steps should be taken to avoid one starting.
Legal responsibilities with respect to fire safety do vary and the best bet is to contact your local fire prevention officer who can advise you on the legal requirements. Hotel rooms usually have a fire instruction notice on the rear of the door, providing simple instructions for guests on what to do in the event that a fire breaks out at the hotel. These notices, include details of what you do if you discover or suspect there is a fire within the building. As a guest house or hotel owner, you have a responsibility to make sure that your premises does not endanger your guests health and you must ensure that the premises is free of fire hazards. Hotels & guest houses ( that are not used solely for holiday letting purposes are classed as HMOs ( homes in multiple occupation) There are various issues that a fire prevention officer can help you with but generally, they are as follows.
Hotel Fire Safety Equipment –Hotel owners have to make sure, there are adequate fire precautions in place at the premises. These precautions would include: fire alarms, extinguishers and fire blankets). There must also be fire escape routes. These escape routes must be clearly sign posted and maintained and must be sufficient for the size of the property and the number of guests. Hotels should have a fire warning system installed, such as a fire alarm and heat and smoke detectors. These should be placed through out the building and especially in the escape routes. Special attention should be paid to high risk areas such as the kitchen. Any fire warning system will be useless unless it is checked on a regular basis and well maintained. Equipment should be tested on a regular basis and a log kept. Faulty equipment, should be replaced immediately. Fire equipment such as extinguishers and fire blankets should also be installed on the premises. generally speaking, there should be at least one fire extinguisher on each floor and a fire blanket in the kitchen. These must be checked on a regular basis. There are various types of fire extinguishers and it’s important that the correct type is installed, different parts of your hotel will have different needs and you should take professional advise on this matter. All hotel staff should be trained on how to use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket.
The hotel escape route’s should be able to resist: fire, smoke and fumes for long enough to allow everyone to escape. There are various different types of escape route, which could include an external fire escape, or internal stairs, corridors or walkways, these should be specially constructed or treated to resist fire. All the walls, ceilings, floors and partitions along the escape route must also be fire resistant. All doors leading to the escape route must be special fire doors that close automatically and are fire resistant. If you run a hotel and fail to comply with you fire safety obligations, the penalties can be quite severe. Checks are carried out by your local council or fire & rescue service to see if you are complying with the law. If you are not, they will probably issue you a non compliance notice in writing detailing the necessary action that must be carried out and providing a timescale to effect the required work.
The Hotel Kitchen -One of the most dangerous areas of any hotel is the kitchen, here fires can break out if procedures are not followed. Different types of hotel will have different types of catering equipment in use, most insurance companies with have warranties or clauses on their hotel insurance policy wording setting down requirements for the up keep and maintenance of the equipment in use. It is vitally important that the terms and conditions of the policy are adhered to as failure to comply may result in a claim being turned down. The clauses are inserted in to the policy wordings for good reason, many hotel fires have started as a result of a lack of cleaning of equipment or it’s associated extraction equipment. Basic cleaning can be carried out by hotel kitchen staff but more thorough cleaning may require the services of a professional company, it is possible to obtain a cleaning contract, where a company inspects your equipment on a regular basis to ensure that all is in order.
Hotel Furnishings –Any upholstered furnishings you provide in the hotel should be fire resistant. The term upholstered furniture includes is extensive and includes.
- sofas, chairs, armchairs & seating:
- beds, headboards and mattresses
- sofa beds and futons
- children’s furniture
- loose and stretch covers for furniture
- cushions and seating pads
- Any furniture designed for outdoors that is used indoors
You can tell if the furniture is fire resistant by looking for a symbol on it to state that it is fire resistant. If the furnishings in your Hotel are not fire resistant, they should be replaced
If you require a Hotel Insurance Quote– Contact Assetsure.