Monday, January 09, 2006

Sprinkler systems in European Hotels

Sprinkler systems are rare in European hotels. In April, 24 were killed and about 60 injured in a fire at a central Paris hotel without sprinklers, the Paris-Opera Hotel.
Stewart Kidd of the trade group British Automatic Sprinkler Association estimates that less than 3% of European hotels have sprinkler systems in each room. He says France, Italy, Austria and Portugal each have fewer than 10 such hotels, the United Kingdom fewer than 100, and Germany fewer than 50.
Sprinkler requirements vary, says Alan Brinson of the European Fire Sprinkler Network, a non-profit group that promotes sprinkler use for safety and property protection. Norway, for example, requires sprinklers in new hotels with multiple stories. Other European governments set various heights — 45 feet in Hungary, 75 feet in Berlin and Frankfurt, and 90 feet in Spain — at which new hotels must be equipped with in-room sprinklers. "Existing hotels are usually grandfathered and can be very unsafe," says Brinson

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