Busy kitchens, careless guests and equipment malfunction can all contribute to the risk of fire and with high occupancy loads, minor mishaps can quickly become serious threats.
Hotel owners and managers have the responsibility of providing a safe environment for their staff and guests and they must consider all the potential risks and be adequately prepared. Firstly, any fire safety plan must be in accordance with State and Territory regulations, building codes and occupational health and safety requirements. Associated fire protection codes and standards also play a crucial role in determining the necessary fire protection solutions that hotels should consider to meet their life-safety obligations. Consulting a fire specialist will assist in identifying what is required for your specific situation.
Some of the common fire and life safety hazards found in hotels include missing or broken fire safety equipment, locked exit doors, accumulated trash, blocked stairways, open fire doors and burned out exit lights. While it is impossible to prevent all fires, it is important to be aware of the risks and have adequate fire protection systems in place.
The choice of fire safety solutions for hotels is extensive and ranges from portable equipment to comprehensive sprinkler systems and smoke detection systems integrated into a hotel’s control room.
Fire detection systems are vital and can help prevent loss of life and minimise damage. Wormald’s MX™ Technology fire detection systems provide very early detection of even slow smouldering fires and can be configured to detect carbon monoxide (CO), smoke and heat. The fire detection systems can also be fully interconnected with fire suppression systems such as sprinklers, as well as emergency evacuation systems.
Hotels may need to install comprehensive fire suppression systems to deal with large fires should they occur. With the kitchen presenting one of the biggest fire hazards, hotel management should consider fire protection systems designed specifically for use with higher temperature cooking oils and slow-cooking appliances. For example, Wormald offers the PIRANHA® kitchen fire suppression system, which discharges a wet chemical liquid fire suppressant for rapid flame knockdown of burning oil. The ANSUL® R-102 is another system which can be installed directly into the hood and ductwork of cooking appliances and releases a liquid fire suppressant when the temperature in the hood reaches a predetermined level.
Having serviced and functional fire equipment on hand when and where you need it can mean the difference between a minor blaze and a devastating full scale fire. Fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and fire blankets are a quick solution for helping to suppress smaller fires and all staff should be trained in how to use them.
To help contain fire and prevent the spread of harmful flames, hot gases and smoke, corridors should be fitted with fire doors. Exhaust fans should also be installed in emergency stairwells to prevent the build up of smoke in the escape routes. In addition to having adequate fire protection equipment, hotel management should also have an effective response and evacuation procedure in place. A swift and competent response to a fire incident can enhance your reputation amongst guests, but an unprofessional approach and panic outbreak may take years to recover from.
Emergency lights are beneficial for guiding hotel guests to the nearest safe exit in the event of a fire or emergency evacuation situation. Some advanced solutions can even be integrated with fire detection, building automation, public address and other control systems to react to the emergency as it unfolds and escort people away to safety.
It is also important to maintain all fire protection equipment and systems. Australian Standards, such as AS1851 require that equipment is regularly tested to ensure it will perform when required. Your fire protection provider should carry out regular inspections and tests so that systems and equipment operate effectively should an incident occur.
To find out more about fire safety solutions and legislation visit the Fire Protection Association of Australia at www.fpaa.com.au or Wormald at www.wormald.com.au
Claire Smith, Write Away Communication + Events
Ph: +61 2 9978 1408 Email: [email protected]
Claire Hartley, Wormald
Ph: 02 9947 7550 Email:[email protected]
Wormald is a leading provider of fire sprinkler system solutions offers a complete range of gaseous fire suppression systems and support services to safeguard commercial passenger ships, bulk carriers, container ships and cargo vessels. Since 1889, it has designed, manufactured, supplied, installed and serviced fire detection and protection systems for a wide variety of industries, including building and construction, health care, defense, government, leisure management, corporate and education. www.wormald.com.au.
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