Thankfully, fires in hotels and chalets in ski resorts are very rare in Europe. This doesn’t mean that we should be complacent! It is important that proprietors and guests have a good knowledge of fire safety procedures. These are our ski holiday fire safety tips.
European fire safety regulations
All hotels and chalets in ski resorts need to adhere to European fire safety regulations. The UK was instrumental in forming of the regulations and they go hand in hand with our own British Standard fire safety regulations (BS5839).
We asked the fire protection experts at fire4u.co.uk for some ski holiday fire safety tips. Fire4u provides specialist Ziton fire products across Europe and run fire training on these specialised fire alarm systems.
Ski holiday fire safety tips
First of all, always check where the fire exits are in a building. It sounds obvious but in the case of a real fire panic can set in. It is a possibility that the fire causes a power cut and although emergency lighting should kick in, it will be low light.
Emergency exit doors should be well signed and in bigger premises (e.g. hotels) the fire exit routes should be well sign posted. The fire exit ‘running man’ signs will either be part of the emergency lighting circuit or photoluminescent signs. Photoluminescent signs soak in light then glow in the dark.
Sometimes windows can be used as a means of escape as a fire exit. Especially in smaller properties such as chalets.
Hotels should have a fire exit route diagram prominently displayed in the hotel room. This is usually positioned on the inside of the room door.
I also advise investigating the fire routes of a hotel. You will be surprised by the amount of times I have found heavy boxes and furniture blocking the route. The worst offenders I have encountered have chained up the fire exit doors with padlocks!
Fire alarm systems
There should be a working fire alarm system throughout the building. With chalets this can be a mains or wireless linked system, but hotels will have a bigger system controlled by fire alarm panels. Fire4u specialise in Ziton fire protection products, but there is a vast array of other brands and manufacturers.
Most hotels will have a smoke/heat detector as well as a sounder/bell in the rooms. Make sure the detector is in place and hasn’t been removed from it’s base. Also make sure that something hasn’t been deliberately placed over the detector to stop it operating.
Fire extinguishers and fire safety doors
Are fire extinguishers in their correct positions or have they been removed? Some hotel staff seem to mistaken fire extinguishers for door stops! Fire safety doors should not be propped open at any time. Some fire safety doors are held open by door magnets that automatically release in the case of fire.
We hope that our ski holiday fire safety tips have been useful? If you have any concerns or questions at all in regards to fire safety then ask the owners of the property. As proved with Grenfell Tower, these occurrences are rare but when they do happen, they happen with dreadful consequences.
For more information and a discussion on the fire safety standards throughout Europe, click here.