Managing Fire Safety Risks In Hotel Buildings

Jan 13, 2023

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Hotels are at high risk of fire due to their use of flammable materials and large volume occupancies. Hotel fire safety is crucial as there are many combustibles within these buildings which could cause devastation to thousands of lives.

In the past, hotels have been more vulnerable to fires because of their high concentration of occupants. Generally, a hotel building is susceptible to fires because of the number of people that are staying there at any given time. Additionally, there is always a chance for accidents, whether it be through negligence or carelessness.

The hotel industry must be especially careful because of the number of guests that are staying at any given time. There are many ways to prevent fires in a hotel building, but it is up to management and staff members to enforce them. Firstly, there is the issue of hotel fire safety regulations. The hotel industry can be held liable for any injuries or deaths that occur because of a fire. Therefore, hotels need to be aware of legislation that affects the hospitality industry.

hotel fire safety in a building

Hotel Fire Safety Challenges

Hotels are bustling environments where staff may be burdened with several responsibilities. Generally, a hotel building is a busy place that can be tricky to navigate. Furthermore, since staff manage multiple responsibilities and therefore can’t retain information. Employees will often miss training opportunities. Guests come in and out of a building so rapidly that it is challenging to identify who is there at any given moment.

A hotel building presents many of the same challenges as a residence when it comes to preventing fires. Guests tend to stay in hotels for long periods of time and are often unaware of their surroundings or are too groggy from sleep or jet lag. This could pose a particular challenge for evacuations. Hotels need to be aware of this and take steps to improve their hotel fire safety. Some hotels have turned to signage and other visual aids that alert guests about hotel fire safety issues. However, these methods can only go so far.

The best way to prevent hotel fires is to have a comprehensive hotel fire safety plan in place. This plan should include training staff on how to respond to an emergency, providing tools for them to use in case of a fire and making sure there are evacuation procedures in place.

Need A Hotel Fire Safety Risk Assessment?

Step 1: Hotel Fire Risk Assessment

A hotel building must complete a fire risk assessment at least once a year and have regular checks if anything within the premises changes. The aim of the assessment is to identify any hotel fire safety hazards and deal with them. This can include checking for electrical faults, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and more. If a hotel does not have a trained fire marshal, they should ask for assistance from an outside expert.

In addition, you must ensure that all your fire doors are checked and ensure that they are not damaged or wedged open. A wedged open fire door could cause serious problems. As heat and smoke pass through your building, the flames will rapidly follow.

The Fire Risk Assessment

The five steps to a fire risk assessment are listed below:

  • Identify the fire hazards.
  • Identify people at risk.
  • Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  • Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

In hotel buildings, there are many flammable materials that could cause major fires if they combust. Once these fire hazards have been identified, they must be noted down.  If they aren’t monitored they can cause a serious explosion.

Some of the fire hazards present in a hotel will include cooking equipment, cigarettes, faulty electrical equipment, heating appliances and more. We then need to identify those that are at risk once a fire does occur. When a fire occurs we need to evacuate these people in the best way possible. In a hotel, those that are at risk will naturally include any guests present in the building as they are less familiar with the layout of the premises. In addition, those with disabilities are going to need alternative evacuation methods, especially if they are staying in a room above the first floor.

Any hotel fire safety risks that have been identified should be reduced where possible. This includes testing electrical ports on a yearly basis and ensuring combustible materials are stored correctly. Once you’ve evaluated or reduced these risks, they must be recorded and incorporated into employee training. This ensures that your hotel is as safe as possible for your guests and employees.

fire risk assessment

Step 2: Hotel Staff Training

As mentioned previously, you will need to ensure that all employees are trained in hotel fire safety. As a minimum, you should train your staff members annually, however, you can increase the frequency where needed. All employees must participate in annual hotel fire safety training sessions. These sessions will cover basics including the need to identify and report fire risks. In addition, we provide practical training for locating fire escape routes and what to do in a fire evacuation. Training sessions can be delivered in person, through online training or through a combination of both. Both types of training are equally effective as long as they cover all the necessary topics.

You should also consider having specific training for staff members who may have more responsibility. This includes those that monitor hotel fire safety equipment such as heat detectors and fire extinguishers. For a more comprehensive and long-term training program, you should consider adding fire drill training. This will help your staff know what to do in case of an emergency and how to make sure that everyone evacuates safely. The fire drills should be performed on a regular basis so that they become second nature to all employees.

It is important to spread out the training over the year so that people remain vigilant. The course includes training in how to use a fire blanket, training on the proper way to handle a fire extinguisher and instruction on how to change lint filters in automatic dryers.

fire safety training

In Need Of A Hotel Fire Safety PEEP?

Top Fire Risks In Hotels

In a hotel building, one of the major fire risks is carelessly discarded smoking materials. Lighted cigarette ends, when not discarded properly, can ignite combustible materials including paper, cardboard or cloth. If you do not have a smoking area at your hotel, consider installing an ashtray in each room. This will help to reduce the number of cigarette butts tossed on the floor or ground outside.

Electrical appliances are equally as bad for causing hotel fires. Often electrical appliances are subject to misuse with the occasional fault causing a devastating fire. All hotel electricals must be tested annually with employees being notified of any possible dangers if necessary.

electrical fire

What Are The Penalties For Not Abiding

Minor penalties can be up to £5,000 for not following hotel fire safety protocols and major penalties can lead to unlimited fines and up to two years in prison. The best way to avoid penalties is to have regular hotel fire safety training sessions. This will ensure that everyone knows what they need to do in the event of a fire and also reduces the chances of someone not following protocol due to ignorance. If you need hotel fire safety training, please get in touch with us today.

Have A Hotel Fire Safety Plan

If you aren’t confident that your staff would react quickly and confidently in the event of an emergency, then either they are not sufficiently trained or you don’t have a suitable hotel fire safety plan. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires that all hotels choose a responsible person to sort/conduct a fire risk assessment. From the fire risk assessment, you can identify and address hazards in your hotel. This is a legal requirement and failure to do so could result in prosecution.


Hotels are at risk of fire and we strongly recommend that you take steps to minimise the risk. This includes having adequate fire equipment and training your staff in how to use it. A hotel building is a busy place, and it can be hard to find the time for training. But you should never underestimate the importance of hotel fire safety. A fire can cause a great deal of damage, but it’s also likely that a small fire could spread and cause even more damage.

A small investment in hotel fire safety training could save your hotel from tragedy and worse still, from prosecution. Hotels can be dangerous places, with many hazards lurking around every corner. The good news is that by investing in training, you can reduce the risk of fire and other accidents occurring. Hotels are no different from any other business, and they need to be aware of their legal obligations. If you fail to comply with the law, you could face prosecution and hefty fines. A hotel fire safety course will teach staff how to prevent fires from starting in the first place; this will also help them spot smoke or other warning signs that a fire is about to break out.

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