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Travel Tip: What You Should Know About High-Rise Fire Safety

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The recent fire tragedy at the Grenfell Tower in London was a powerful wake-up call about high-rise fire safety, whether in a residential building, a hotel, or a resort.

I am reminded of the tragic 1981 MGM fire in Las Vegas, and the lessons learned from that disaster.

The city substantially changed the fire codes in Las Vegas.

Fire safety and fire prevention—as well as fire suppression—are the keys when dealing with any structure taller than six stories.

The reality is that fire departments are more or less unable to fight a fire above the sixth story.

Fire codes, not only in England, need to be strengthened and enforced to suppress or control a high-rise fire long enough for people to safely escape.

How? Change the codes to mandate retrofitting sprinkler systems on all floors and in all rooms of high-rise buildings, and check and/or replace all smoke detectors—not just in hallways, but in the individual rooms of every building.

None of these were in place before the London fire.

Before you check into your next hotel, especially if it’s a high-rise, you need to ask about its fire safety systems.

Does the building contain sprinkler systems in the hallways and the guest rooms?

Are there heat and smoke detectors with audible alarms in guest rooms?

If you don’t get a satisfactory answer, vote with your wallet, and stay somewhere else.

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