As a hotel manager, keeping your staff members and guests safe at all times is your number one priority. Ensuring your guests’ stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible is of utmost importance, but putting minds at ease by going above and beyond when it comes to fire safety adds so much to any guest’s experience. After all, a good night’s sleep is at the heart of any hotel stay.
This checklist will take you through the main points to consider and act upon in both putting fire safety plans in place, and dealing with a fire at your hotel, should the worst happen. Remember – ignoring fire safety regulations comes at a huge cost. Heavy fines and even jail sentences have been dealt to hotel managers and hotel owners in Blackpool and Scarborough who failed to have appropriate fire safety plans and exits in place, putting the lives of their guests and staff at risk.
Ensure your fire risk assessment is up-to-date
This is essential for two reasons: the first is to make sure your hotel is a safe place for you and your team to work and your guests to stay. If you have had recent renovations, a fire assessment may be necessary to ensure all fire alarms are operational, all fire exits are clear and escape routes are easily accessible.
The second is to ensure that your insurance policy is fully valid. Should a fire cause damage to your hotel without an up-to-date fire risk assessment in place, you may not be eligible for any compensation.
Train your staff
Your hotel staff are your eyes and ears on the ground, so you need to make them aware of how vital fire safety really is. Your staff should all be fully trained at induction when they join your team, and training should ideally be refreshed at least annually.
Fire safety training should include:
- Knowing the hotel’s escape routes
- Spotting hazards – such as blocked or wedged-open fire doors, inaccessible stairwells or corridors, or confusing fire escape signage
- Understanding which fire extinguishers to use and when it is appropriate to use them
- Knowing how to safely and calmly evacuate guests
- Fire drills – at least weekly
Check your hotel is not in breach of fire safety regulations
Hotel managers are fined thousands of pounds every single year for simple breaches of fire safety regulations that could easily have been avoided. The most common breaches have been revealed by fire safety experts to be:
- Ill-fitting doors in frames
- Damaged fire doors
- Fire and smoke seals in poor condition
- Fire doors wedged open
Educate your team about the dangers of breaching these regulations, and you’ll reduce the likelihood of a fire damaging your property and endangering lives.
Collect evidence of any fire-related damage
Should your hotel suffer from a damaging fire, the first thing you’ll want to do is call your insurance company so you can start getting things sorted as soon as possible. It can be tempting to begin the cleanup process immediately, but remember, insurance companies need to see evidence of damage in order to honour your claim.
This evidence can include photographs and circumstantial evidence from staff members and yourself, but in many cases insurance loss assessors and adjusters will need to see the physical evidence for themselves. That means keeping hold of:
- Fire or smoke-damaged furniture and furnishings such as carpets
- Photographs of fire and smoke-damaged rooms
- Proof that your smoke alarms and other fire safety equipment was in good working order
- Receipts and invoices from cleaning companies and other services such as scaffolders and emergency builders used to enable re-entry to the property
Contact Action Insurance Repair
When your livelihood is threatened by fire and lasting fire damage, the last thing you want to spend time doing is calling insurance companies for quotes and battling with suppliers and contractors.
If you contact Action Insurance Repair to deal with your fire damage claim and the repairs thereafter, this stage is simple – all you need to do is let our loss assessors take stock of the damage and our quality assured contractors complete any necessary repairs to your property. The time this takes depends on the severity of the damage caused.
Fires can be extremely damaging and disruptive but they don’t have to be devastating. If you’d like advice on how we can help you get the compensation you need to get back up and running with the least amount of fuss, please contact Action Insurance Repair now, on 01254 665 333.