Fire Safety in a Hotel When it comes to the hospitality sector, safety is of utmost importance. The hotel industry, like other sectors, has to comply with health and safety regulations; but what really distinguishes an excellent hotel from an average one is a real concern for the safety and comfort of guests and employees.

The specialist team at Hartson Fire has come up with a guide to the safety requirements and measures hotel owners and managers should take to prevent fires and contain damages if one occurs.

Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors should be placed in corridors, storerooms, under stairways, guest rooms, public areas and storage spaces.

For larger hotels, legislation requires that you have an automated centralized smoke detector that integrates all smoke detectors in each location with a master panel. This alerts the staff to immediately identify where a smoke detector has activated and take steps of action without delay.

Hoteliers should know that the newer varieties of smoke or heat detectors can detect and report a heat build-up prior to actual evidence of smoke or flame, as against the older varieties that would only respond to smoke or other products of combustion.

Fire extinguishers

There is a reason why every property should have a fire extinguisher an, when it comes to the hotel industry, this is even more important. Fire extinguishers are designed to control and extinguish small fires. Installers, like Hartson Fire, follow a nationally recognised standard that dictates what type of fire extinguisher should be installed, depending on the location and size. This is why corridors often have extinguishers for use on materials such as paper and other combustibles while kitchen areas have extinguishers designed to put out grease fires.

There are four types of fires a hotel or B & B should always be prepared for.

Class A fire involving ordinary combustibles

Class B fire involving flammable liquids

Class C fire involving electrical equipment

Class K fire involving cooking oils and fat.

Fire extinguishers are a necessity in a hotel environment even if there are full sprinkler systems in the place. This is because fire extinguishers can attack and extinguish a small fire quickly before it becomes huge enough and generates lot of heat to activate an automatic sprinkler system.

Though hotel fires generally are not that common, it is one of the biggest threats to the industry. A hotel fire can spread quickly if not curtailed immediately and claim both lives and property. So, it is essential to provide appropriate training to hotel staff on how to use the fire extinguishers.

Fire Safety Signage

Fire Safety Signs are required in even the smallest hotel premises.  They are important as they are

designed to help the occupants of a building fight a small fire and swiftly evacuate the premises.


All commercial, including hotels, are required to provide some fire safety signage – at the very least a Fire Action Notice and a Fire Extinguisher ID sign. Otherwise they may not meet the regulations set out by the Fire Safety Order.

Fire Regulation Compliance

If you’re still not sure which fire safety equipment you need in your hotel and what measures you need to take to ensure the safety of staff and employees, we’ve prepared this short guide to ensure your hotel complies with the UK fire regulations.

  • Risk Assessments: All hotels, whatever the size, must complete one. 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. These risk assessments should be ongoing and dealt with appropriately rather than a ‘tick-box’ exercise carried out once a year.
  • Staff training: All staff should be trained in emergency procedures and the use of fire safety equipment to ensure guests, other employees and the building is kept safe. 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, including evacuation drills, how to use a fire blanket and a fire extinguisher.
  • Evacuation route: Make sure that there is a clear evacuation route in case of emergency. Watch out for hazards such as wedged open fire doors, corridors cluttered with stored furniture which make escape difficult, inaccessible stairwells because of a fire door rendered useless with a door wedge
  • Easy to follow signage: avoid confusing signs and make sure all fire equipment is correctly signed and that all exit routes and assembly points are clear.

Legal Requirements

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.

  • The most common breaches of fire regulations in hotels include:
  • Ill-fitting doors in frames
  • Damaged fire doors
  • Fire and smoke seals in poor condition
  • Fire doors wedged open

A breach of fire regulations used to result in a fine of up to £5,000 in the Magistrates’ courts unlike the Crown Court where the penalty was an unlimited fine and/or prison.

Now, the penalty in the Magistrates’ Court is an unlimited fine and the person responsible for fire safety will be prosecuted as an individual, not as a company. This means that in future, less cases need to go to the Crown Court and fines can increase, especially if you have a significant turnover. On top of this, any enforcement action is published online for everyone to see.