Here are our new 5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires. A prior New Year’s Eve fire in Dubai’s 5-star hotel, the Address Downtown Dubai, demonstrates that even modern, elegant buildings at times, can hold such dangers. More recently, the Mandarin Oriental in the heart of posh London had a highly publicized fire. As luck would have it, all escaped real harm.
I am conscious of fire hazards even at home having chosen to live in one of Washington’s older neighborhoods, where although rare, two fatal fires have taken place there and in the nearby area. The great danger is either being unaware a fire has started or being unable to get out quickly. On travel, especially abroad, fatigue, language difficulties and lack of familiarity with temporary lodging can compound the problem. I have seen this happen while on a ski trip in Europe. Part of our group at a neighboring hotel had to evacuate in the middle of the night because of a fire. Fortunately, no one was injured. For those of us solo travelers, not having a travel mate, we need to be vigilant to recognize the problem and to get out safely.
These are our five tips for single travelers (and all others) in case of fire:
5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires: Tip 1:
On arrival at your lodging, locate fire exits, and remember in an emergency electrical lighting may not work or smoke can make visibility difficult. (Just recently, I found my top hotel abroad had only an unmarked fire door. If you happened to find it through trial and error, it did have the words “fire exit” inside!) As a result, note the best path out by counting the steps to the exit or being guided by the walls if they are not too hot to touch in a fire. This is as important, if not more so, if you are staying in a short-term rental which may not meet the fire prevention standards of an up-to-date hotel.
5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires: Tip 2:
As they say on pre-flight instructions, note a second or alternate exit which may be behind you. This is important since you may find your primary exit is blocked.
5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires: Tip 3:
If you prefer, choose a lower floor rather than one higher up. (In any case, the latter are likely to be much more expensive.)
5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires: Tip 4:
Don’t assume a fire alarm is a false alarm. You may have only seconds/a few minutes to leave your room. Before going to sleep, put your shoes (and a jacket in cold climates) next to your bed in case there is an emergency in the middle of the night; tuck your hotel key and smartphone in your pocket. If it is possible to return to your room, you don’t want to wait in line along with everyone else who is then locked out of their rooms! In addition, if you previously took a picture with your phone of critical travel documents, like the first page of your passport and visas, or emailed them to yourself, this will speed up getting replacements where destroyed by fire. (Do be sure to password protect your smartphone so that you won’t become a victim of identity theft.)
5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires: Tip 5:
Be particularly aware of fires during festive celebrations where fire works can start a blaze, or more often, Christmas trees (even artificial ones), can catch on fire.
Fortunately, if you choose your lodging carefully, fatal hotel fires are not a likely daily event. However, taking reasonable precautions can help to prevent serious injury and not disrupt your trip. Follow our 5 Single Traveler Tips on Safety-Hotel Fires for safer travels.