Fire Safety for Hotel Owners in the UK
August 3rd, 2023
Last updated: November 24th, 2023
As a hotel owner in the UK, ensuring the safety of your guests and staff should be a top priority. Fire safety is a critical aspect of hotel management, and it is essential to be well-informed about the UK legislation, responsibilities, precautions, and fire safety training to prevent and effectively respond to potential fire emergencies. This guide will provide you with an in-depth overview of fire safety in hotels.
In the UK, fire safety is governed by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, often referred to as the Fire Safety Order. This legislation applies to all non-domestic premises, including hotels, and sets out the legal requirements for fire safety. Under this order, hotel owners are deemed the “responsible person” for fire safety within their premises.
Fire Risk Assessment: Hotel owners must conduct a thorough fire risk assessment of their premises to identify potential fire hazards, evaluate the level of risk, and implement necessary fire safety measures. This can be carried out by a third party.
Fire Safety Measures: Based on the risk assessment, appropriate fire safety measures must be put in place, such as installing fire alarms, emergency lighting, fire doors, fire extinguishers, and evacuation routes.
Evacuation Plans: Hotels must have a clear and effective evacuation plan that is communicated to all guests and staff. Signage can help to communicate things like a fire assembly point. Regular drills should be conducted to ensure everyone is familiar with the procedures.
Staff Training: All staff, including temporary and part-time employees, must receive adequate fire safety training to understand their roles and responsibilities during an emergency.
Record-Keeping: Hotel owners should keep detailed records of fire safety assessments, training, maintenance, and any incidents for at least five years.
Responsibility of Fire Safety
As the “responsible person” for fire safety in your hotel, it is crucial to take a proactive approach to ensure the well-being of your guests and staff. Some key responsibilities include:
Fire Safety Equipment Maintenance: Ensure that all fire safety equipment, including fire alarms, extinguishers, emergency lighting, and sprinkler systems, are regularly inspected and maintained by competent professionals.
Fire Detection and Alarms: Install a reliable fire detection and alarm system throughout your hotel, ensuring it is interconnected and immediately alerts both guests and staff in case of a fire.
Emergency Exits and Evacuation Routes: Clearly mark emergency exits and evacuation routes with illuminated signs, and ensure they are always accessible and unobstructed.
Fire Doors and Compartmentation: Ensure that fire doors are installed where required, and that they are kept closed when not in use to prevent the spread of fire. Maintain the compartmentation of the building to contain fire and smoke.
The government’s fire risk assessment guide for sleeping accommodation is extremely helpful for those running hotels and bed & breakfast establishments.
Precautions Hotels Should Take
Preventive measures are essential in reducing the risk of fire incidents. Implement the following precautions in your hotel:
a. Electrical Safety: Regularly inspect and maintain all electrical systems, equipment, and appliances. Encourage guests to report any electrical issues they notice and regular PAT testing can also help to ensure items aren’t fire risks.
b. Smoking Policy: Implement a strict no-smoking policy in guest rooms and other non-designated areas. Provide designated smoking areas away from the building.
c. Fire Safety Signage: Display clear fire safety signage throughout the hotel, indicating fire exits, assembly points, fire extinguisher locations, and fire alarm call points.
d. Flammable Materials Storage: Store flammable materials in designated, fire-resistant cabinets away from ignition sources.
e. Kitchen Safety: Ensure your hotel’s kitchen is equipped with fire suppression systems and that staff are trained in fire safety specific to kitchen hazards.
Fire safety is not something to ignore. Of course, it is crucial to keep people safe. The potential penalty in the Magistrates’ Court is an unlimited fine and the person responsible for fire safety can be individually prosecuted, even if it is within a limited company. There have been prosecutions in excess of £200,000 in the UK for hotel fire safety issues.
A lot of people turn to third-party for help. Robinsons Facilities Services can also help you to create a full plan for what to do in the event of a fire. This should be tailored to your workplace and specific needs, as well as helping you to comply with the law, and will help you to ensure that everyone knows what they need to do if the alarm sounds.
Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.