A Guide to Fire Protection for Hotels
Hotel and hospitality facilities are like any other building at risk of fire and with hundreds of guests and staff in the building every day, they need to comply with a high standard of fire protection:
- Compliance with AS 1530: Part 4 (Fire resistance test of building materials)
- Good fire prevention plan that meets the requirements set out in AS 3745-2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities
- Operating fire safety systems (sprinklers, smoke alarms, emergency exit signs)
- Professionally maintained, and regularly inspected fire protection systems throughout the building
- Hallways, doors, and stairwells clear of obstructions
- Fire safety training of staff
The importance of fire protection systems and safety procedures in hotels
Hotels are complex buildings with high occupancy loads and so a lot of different requirements when it comes to fire protection.
Large complexes can have many rooms and numerous guests that can stay any given period of time. These guests are usually unfamiliar with the building and the shortest available route to escape.
Hotel restaurants and kitchens also add a great risk of fire due to open flames, flammable grease traps, and storage of flammable materials.
As for the busy kitchens, careless guests and potentially malfunctioning tools, it is essential for hotels to be prepared in the event of a fire and have the right passive fire protection systems in place, in addition to the proper fire safety procedures.
Improving fire safety in hotels
For architects and designers, this means designing the correct type of fire protection system, in accordance with relevant legislation and standards. Effective compartmentation is essential to help preserve the stability of the building’s structure in the event of a fire and allow enough time for the safe evacuation of its occupants.
For hotel managers, that means carrying out a thorough risk assessment, installing the right equipment, and ensuring that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.
4 ways of improving fire safety in hotel buildings:
- Conducting a comprehensive fire risk assessment to identify and understand the potential risks (identify anything that could potentially start a fire, and consider what level of risk they present as well as identify any individuals who might be particularly vulnerable during a fire). It is crucial to protect people and properties by ensuring the fire safety measures are adequate and perfectly aligned with the size and nature of the premises.
- Create an evacuation plan and install fire doors. Fire evacuation procedures must be displayed in every room with clear and easy to understand escape routes.
Every floor must have the appropriate number of fire doors that may be closed after the evacuation to stop the spread of fire.
- Install the correct safety equipment including fire detection systems (alarms, sprinklers, emergency exit signs and lighting) and ensure regular maintenance of the systems. Supply basic firefighting equipment (fire extinguishers, fire blankets and hose reels) and other specific tools in high-risk areas like the kitchens.
- Facility managers and staff must be trained to use the installed equipment and know exactly what to do when the alarm sounds. Fire safety training can help ensure that employees are aware of the building’s emergency management and evacuation plan and avoid panic in case of a fire. Trained staff that are proficient in emergency procedures will ensure that guests can be evacuated in a methodical and efficient manner.
Case study – Double Tree Hilton Project
Designing the correct type of Fire Protection for Hotels can have significant space, weight and cost savings. Our recent involvement with the Double Tree Hilton Project in Northbridge Western Australia has highlighted PROMATECT 100’s versatility as an internal fire wall system for Hotels.
What was specified:
- PROMATECT® 100– for 2 hour fire rated wall
- Approx 18,000 m2
PROMATECT® 100 boards have recently been used as a 2 hour fire wall for the project. The system only requires a single layer of PROMATECT® 100 on either side of the stud work.
The project architects relied on PROMATECT® 100 fire walls for the following reasons:
- Lighter than conventional double layer plasterboard systems
- Thinner overall walls, allowing for larger hotel rooms
- Structural steel protection approvals as well as fire wall approvals, allowing for one type of board for the whole project
The PROMATECT® 100 wall system was installed by WA Ceilings and Fit Out (WACAF). They ordered custom made sheets for the project, to reduce waste and cutting on site.
The team at WACAF installed the custom sized PROMATECT® 100 boards to a very high standard, quickly and efficiently as they were able to reduce the amount of cutting required on site.
PROMATECT® 100 provides excellent acoustic properties and was used to fit out the 17 level Hotel in Northbridge for all of the internal walls. Progressive Materials was involved in project specification, and site support during construction.
This project also featured the supply of our Promat System Floor for fire separation between levels, as well as a wide selection of fire stopping products from our range.
If you are looking for advice on Fire Protection for Hotels, you can get in contact with one of our technical consultants.
What is the difference between fire prevention and fire protection?
A: Fire prevention is a combination of proactive measures taken to reduce fire hazards and limit fire ignition risks. It can include regular checks and maintenance of the fire systems in the building but also regular assessments of the areas that can pose a higher threat (identify hazards such as improperly stored flammable materials, overloaded electrical sockets, poorly maintained fireplace, heat or electrical systems…).
Fire protection is a combination of systems and procedures that can help reduce the damages and propagation of a fire once it has ignited. You have 2 types of fire protection, passive fire protection (containing the fire and preventing it from spreading further) and active fire protection (detecting, stopping and escaping fire).
Why is compartmentation in hotels critical?
A: Compartmentation is a key component of fire protection and can help effectively protect people, assets and the environment from the dangers and effects of fire.
Fire protection in hotels is challenging due to the high occupancy loads, guests could be sleeping and unaware of the risks when a fire ignites, they are not familiar with the building and may not know how to act in an event of a fire.
Compartmentation using fire rated boards in addition to fire stopping systems for service penetrations will contain the fire in the room or area of origin, limiting the spread of heat and smoke thus providing safe refuges and safe escape routes to the occupants.
23 Nov 2021