The legal responsibility of maintaining hotel fire safety may seem daunting, but we’re here to make compliance easy. Here’s our Fireco guide to fire safety if you own or manage a hotel.
The Fire Safety Order (FSO) is the current law in England and Wales. This states that one ‘responsible person’ (usually the owner or manager) is in charge of compliance. This ‘responsible person’ can nominate a ‘competent person’ to receive the fire training and ensure day-to-day compliance with regulations if they prefer.
All hotels, whatever the size, must do a fire risk assessment. All hazards must be reduced as much as practically possible. Precautions must be taken to protect guests and employees, including simple steps such as keeping escape routes clear, and ensuring that fire doors are fitted with automatic door closers.
Fireco research found that 64% of premises visited by the fire service had fire doors wedged open. In these cases, fire doors would not close automatically in the event of fire, and fire and smoke would spread quickly. This is in breach of regulations.
Staff training is vital to ensure hotel fire safety. All employees need to be able to identify and report fire risks, as well as knowing all escape routes, and what to do in an emergency. Some tips:
- Fire risk assessment should be ongoing. All risks must be noted and dealt with as soon as possible, rather than a ‘tick-box’ exercise carried out once a year.
- Regular checks of the building need to be made to ensure that fire doors are not damaged in any way. Fire doors must be kept closed and not wedged open. Hazards, such as frayed wiring or blocked escape routes, must be removed.
- Try to spread out fire training across the year. This includes evacuation drills, how to use a fire blanket, fire extinguisher training and how to change the lint filters in tumble dryers.
- Make sure that everyone who comes into contact with the building, including agency staff, builders, cleaners and gardeners, is also trained in fire risks.
Failure to comply with fire regulations can have serious repercussions for hotel owners. Fire safety should be a part of everyday life for everyone that works in a hotel. It doesn’t need to be complicated.