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The Spark: Why Hotel Fires Start and What Can Be Done About It

Fire Springkler

fire protectionEvery year, there’s about 3,900 hotel and motel fires reported to U.S. fire departments, which cause an estimated 15 deaths and 150 injuries, and result in $76 million in property loss.

But why?

Why is it that hotels and motels suffer from so many fires? And what can be done to stop it?

Cooking Is the Leading Cause of Hotel Fires.

Believe it or not, cooking caused about 46% of all hotel and motel fires, making it the leading cause. Although nearly all hotel and motel cooking fires are small, contained blazes (97%), some of them do wind up burning past their rooms of origin. In fact, nearly one in five do (18%). These fires that spread aren’t often cooking fires, but fires caused by electrical malfunctions (24%).

Too Many Hotels Don’t Have Smoke Alarms.

Believe it or not, one of the main reasons why there were so many injuries and property damage as a result of hotel fires is because the facilities weren’t properly outfitted with smoke alarms. In fact, in more than one out of 10 (14%) of non-confined hotel and motel fires, there were no smoke alarms present.

What Can Be Done?

Now, the most obvious answer — given the two aforementioned points — would be to ensure that fire alarms were properly installed in or near hotel kitchens, and it is, but there’s more. Commercial fire protection services also highly recommend having multiple fire extinguishers available, as these devices are highly effective pieces of equipment. In a survey of the National Federation of Fire Equipment Distributors, portable fire extinguishers successfully extinguished 12,505 of the 13,221 reported fires (95%). Without any training, almost every study participant — 98% — were able to successfully use an extinguisher by pulling the pin, squeezing the trigger, and discharging the extinguisher, and after just a few minutes of training, the number went up to 100%.

To learn more about how hotel fires can be prevented, get in touch with a fire protection company. If you have any questions about fire protection, feel free to share in the comments.