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Things to know about the emergency exits at your hotel

H/T @wyip

I travel frequently for business. All of these tips come from things that have either happened to me or someone I know well.

Things to know about the emergency exits at your hotel

    1. Which way do I turn?

    In the dark, in the smoke, half awake, when I open my door, which way do I turn.

    2. How would I get to the emergency exit crawling and blindfolded?

    Can I just follow one wall or are there other hallways? How many room doors is it to the exit door? etc.

    3. Does the door even work?

    Yes. I've found them blocked and/or locked before.

    4. Can you re-enter?

    Some fire escape stairways are designed so once you enter the stairwell, the only way out is at the bottom?

    5. Are other guests in the habit of propping the doors open to prevent this?

    Leads to building security and other issues.

    6. When you do exit the emergency stairwell, where are you?

    It will almost certainly be an exterior exit but where are you in relation to the main entrance or your vehicle? In some instances, the stairwell will lead to another structure, like a parking garage or service alley. If you had to get to your vehicle or back into the hotel how would you do it?

    7. Is emergency equipment mounted in or directly near the stairwell?

    Fire extinguishers and more importantly fire hoses can greatly restrct access and increase crowding in or near stairwells. Take this into account.

    8. Can you go Up?

    If you are like me, every time I see the bad guy in a movie or TV run further up in an attempt to escape., I want to yell at the screen. But in real life, there is the unlikely occasion when going up to exit on a higher floor or even the roof is preferable to attempting to escape down through the inferno below.

    9. Does your key card activate the doors?

    You should always be able to use the stairwells to exit without your keycard. But even if you can re-enter the building or other floors from the stairwell, do you need a keycard to do so?

    10. What is the average length of stay of the people using the hotel?

    The larger the percentage of guests that are using your hotel as long-term housing, (more than 30 days) the higher likelihood of there being access/blockage or other issues with the use of the stairwell in time of emergency.

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