Tips for hotel fire safety

My mom was a flight attendant and spent a lot of time in hotels. On one such stay, a fire broke out where she was staying and ever since then she’s been very aware of evacuation routes in hotels. When I left for my round-the-world trip, her advice to me was to make sure that my guesthouses, many of which weren’t likely held to any fire codes and/or didn’t have smoke detectors, had more than one way out. She also suggested getting rooms on floors near the ground so I could escape through a window on my own. I had never even considered fire safety before, but her advice made sense and I think it was sound information to send me on my way with.

I thought of her advice in a hotel on Phuket, Thailand. I stayed on the top floor, the 6th, and my room had tiny slits for windows up near the ceiling. I laughed to my friend, “My mom would kill me if she saw this room.” Days later the tsunami hit and although I had left by then, had I stayed it’s possible that being on the 6th floor would’ve saved my life. Nevertheless, fires are much more common than tsunamis, and with the Vegas Monte Carlo fire yesterday, now is a good time for travelers to look around and check out their hotels’ escape routes. Here are some more tips from the L.A. Times:

  • Make sure your room’s smoke detector is working.
  • If a fire breaks out outside your room, feel your door before opening it to make sure it isn’t warm.
  • If you can’t leave your room, call the hotel operator or fire department (this works better if you’re in a room with phones!)
  • Wet sheets and towels and place them under your door to keep smoke out.
  • Hang a sheet from your window to alert rescuers where you are.

Do you have any tips to share?