Hotel and Motel Safety

Vacations and business travel make hotels and motels our home-away-from-home. It is just as important to be prepared and know what you would do in a hotel/motel emergency as it is in your own home.

Did you know?

  • Each year, there are an estimated 3,900 hotel and motel fires that cause 15 deaths, 100 injuries, and $100 million in property losses.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of hotel and motel fires.  (Source:

Be Safe When Traveling!

  • Make sure the hotel/motel you will be staying in has both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask what the fire alarm sounds like when you check in.
  • All hotel/motel rooms are required by the International Fire Code (IFC) to post evacuation diagrams in each guest room.  Take a few minutes to review the evacuation diagram when you enter your room.  Also look around for the entrances and exits, especially those close to your room.
  • If traveling with others in different rooms, decide a place to meet outside of the hotel/motel incase of an evacuation.
  • Assume all fire alarms are real.
  • If the alarm sounds, check your door first.  If it is not hot, you are okay to leave your room.   The only things you should take with you is your room key and valuables such as personal ID, cell phone, wallet, car keys, etc.  Gear and clothing are replaceable, but you are not!
  • When exiting, DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS!  Always use the stairs.
  • Stay low while evacuating to avoid heat and smoke.
  • Before opening any door, make sure to touch the door with your hand first.  If the door is hot, look for another exit.

If It Is Unsafe to Leave Your Room During a Fire

  • Fill the tub with cold water.
  • Stuff wet towels around the door to keep smoke out.
  • If possible, open a window and hang a sheet outside to signal for help and call 9-1-1 to let them know your location.
  • Cover your face with a wet cloth and stay low if smoke gets in your room.
  • Do not jump.