Industrial Firefighting, Structural Firefighting

Fighting Fires in Hotels and Motels: There Are Some Differences!

Issue 1 and Volume 172.

By Brian Butler Fire departments across the United States respond to approximately 4,000 fires in motels and hotels every year, which result in loss of life and more than $100 million in property damage. Nearly half of these structure fires involved cooking equipment; the remainder were caused by smoking, heaters, arson, and laundry equipment. When it comes to motels, life safety and rapid fire spread are two major challenges for first arriving-companies and the incident commander. Motels and hotels are occupied by temporary and permanent guests who may not be familiar with escape routes, emergency exits, and alarm warnings and who most likely are sleeping during the night. As always, life safety is our top priority, and accomplishing that in an occupied high-rise hotel or low-rise motel necessitates additional resources. Fires in these occupancies are not rare events, and we should prepare for them by conducting fire preplans. You must…

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