During my Krav Maga self-defense seminar tours, I stayed in quite a few hotels and I began to think of hotel safety; what would you do in case of a fire? Or an assault? You are in an unfamiliar environment, you are tired, you are usually alone; how would you react?
Know Where You Are
Whether you are in the hotel lobby, the restaurant or your room, you should get oriented. Find out where you can go for help, where the nearest exit is.
When I check into my room I am usually exhausted but still, one should always find the nearest TWO exits (one might be inaccessible in an emergency), remember where it is in relation to your room, (perhaps count the doors, remember the direction).
Find out if the hotel has a hotline for emergencies.
Know Your Room – At home I have a regular spot where I keep my keys and wallet, in a hotel I do the same. I have a set spot where I leave my wallet, cell phone, and my hotel Key (card). In an emergency I will be able to find them quickly. For safety reasons I keep them within arms' reach at all times. The Hilton hotel recommends, "Learn how to unlock your door in the dark." "In the event of a fire take your room key card (and nothing else) with you." I would say take your wallet and cell phone as well.
In Case of Fire, Act, Don't Investigate – If the fire is in your room, get out and close the door. Once out, report the fire to the hotel by pulling a fire alarm or by calling the front desk or emergency number.
If the Fire is Not in Your Room. Leave if You Can – the Hilton San Francisco recommends "Feel the door with the back of your hand. If it is cool, open it slowly and go to the nearest exit."
If Your Door is Hot, Do Not Open It. Again I quote the Hilton SF, "Your room may be the safest place to be. Call the hotel Emergency line to report the fire and your location. Seal all cracks with wet towels. Shut off fans and air conditioners. Hang a sheet as a signal at your window or balcony. Wait to be rescued."
Crawl Low in Smoke. Freshest air will be at the floor, so it is best to crawl. If even the floor has smoke or fire, turn around and try another exit, (that is why you should know where at least two exits are). Always take your room key card with you, if both exits are not usable; go back to your room.
Never Use the Elevator During a Fire Only use the interior stairs.
Do any of you have other practical suggestions, or comments, or stories? Please e mail me so we can learn from each other and spread the knowledge