Lodging association reports on its fire protection provisions

Lodging association reports on its fire protection provisions

The American Hotel & Motel Association says a survey it commissioned shows that lodging establishments “are continually implementing stringent fire protection,” but proponents of a federal sprinkler bill say it demonstrates that the legislation is needed.

“As far as were concerned, it’s just additional documentation supporting the need for the hotel/motel sprinkler bill,” says David Goldston, a House Committee on Science and Technology staff member.

According to the survey, Fire Protection in the Lodging Industry, 97 percent of responding chain hotels had smoke detectors in all guest rooms: 6″ percent of highrise sites have all guest rooms sprinklered; and 85 percent of high-rise sites have ; public and service areas sprinklered. Of the independently operated lodgings that responded to the survey, 94 percent had guest rtxims equipped with smoke detectors: 41 percent of guest rooms were i sprinklered: and Tj percent had sprinklers in public and service areas.

“Even with the high-rise sites, those most likely to have sprinklers, only twothirds said they did,” says Goldston. “There are no figures in the survey to give comfort.”

Though the association has nearly 9,000 members representing 1.3 million guest rooms, survey respondents numbered 4,500 hotels and motels representing 762,000 guest rooms —about half the membership.

A spokeswoman for the association, Michele Schmidt, says the survey was voluntarily submitted to the committee, which had on its agenda this year a bill requiring all hotels and motels to have smoke detectors and to be equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. She says the findings were presented to the committee partly with the proposed sprinkler bill in mind, but also to make the public more aware of the lodging industry’s attempts to make its buildings safer.

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