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HOTEL FIRE NEW JOURNAL-92
 
Grease fire forces hotel evacuation From Staff Reports
Monday, Dec. 3, 2007 9:55 pm
GREENSBORO -- A grease fire forced a hotel to evacuate this evening.

The Greensboro Fire Department was called to the Candlewood Suites at 7623 Thorndike Road about 8:30 p.m.

According to Battalion Chief Brent Gerald, a man was cooking food on top of his stove when it caught fire.

The man, Tim Spadley, 43, of Macon, Ga., tried to put out the fire and was severely burned in the process. The sprinkler system in his room turned on and extinguished the blaze, Gerald said.

Spadley received first and second degree burns to his back, hands and shoulders. He was transported to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where he was treated and released.

Gerald said that other guests were briefly evacuated during the incident but most returned to their rooms shortly after fire officials were on the scene.

Gerald said the man's room sustained water damage.

 

Guest flee hotel blaze
- 03 December 2007
HOTEL guests were evacuated last night (Sunday) as a blaze ripped through a room.

All 31 guests had to leave the Rossmore Hotel, Cranbrook Road, Ilford, when one of the rooms caught fire.

Two fire engines from Ilford Fire Station took little more than 10 minutes to control the blaze after they were called to the scene at 11.27pm.

No one was injured in the incident and the room was unoccupied at the time.

An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the fire.

 
Fire causes commotion at hotel

09:43:12 - 05 December 2007

Participants to a Malawi College of Distance Education (MCDE) workshop at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe Tuesday scampered for their lives following sparks of fire in the Nyika Room where they were.

There was commotion at the hotel as participants for other workshops in
adjacent rooms had to temporarily suspend their deliberations following noise from Nyika Room.

Edmond Nachamba Phiri, Crossroads Hotel Sales and Marketing Manager said in an interview soon after the fire was put out that it was caused by a short circuit.

“Fortunately, we have strong fire detectors. Our firefight equipment is also very good. As you can see, the damage is just minimal,” said Nachamba Phiri, pointing to the ceiling where the fire had just made a hole.

“If there is a small spark, the fire alarm starts immediately. It is so sensitive to smokes,” said Nachamba Phiri.

The MCDE participants went ahead with their workshop after a break of close to an hour but were relocated to another room.

A few months ago, fire also gutted some rooms at Kalikuti Hotel in Lilongwe but management put up advertisements in the media, saying the damage was not extensive.

 

300 HOTELS FAIL FIRE CHECKS

11:00 - 04 December 2007

Scores of hotels and guest houses across the region have been labelled "unsafe" from fire after hundreds of properties in Devon and Cornwall failed to meet strict new safety laws, the Western Morning News has learned.

By the end of October, 302 non-domestic properties in Devon and Cornwall, chiefly those providing sleeping accommodation, had fallen short of new Government legislation designed to save more people from death and injury caused by blazes.

Many fear the figure is just the tip of the iceberg, given that only a fraction (around 1,800) of tens of thousands of Westcountry premises subject to the law have received a thorough fire brigade audit.

Awareness of hotel fire safety has been heightened following the Penhallow Hotel blaze in Newquay, Cornwall, in August, in which three people died. An investigation into the causes of the blaze is still going on.

One fire service chief claimed the legislation "doesn't feature particularly highly on (a hotel's) agenda". Gary Bryant, a Devon-based independent fire safety consultant, said it would take years to bring the region's portfolio of hotels and B &Bs up to speed with the new Regulatory Reform Order (RRO).

He said: "We can say 60 per cent of all hotels in Devon and Cornwall are not compliant (with the fire safety order) and would be categorised as unsafe in the event of a fire. Any building can be a death trap if people are in the wrong building at the wrong time. I'm sure there are many of them."

Faults included poor fire escapes, inadequate techniques to stop fires spreading and, frequently, out-dated alarm systems. According to publicly available register of notices, officers deemed one hotel in the Penwith area, as "not to be used for any form of human habitation".

A Torquay hotel fell foul on eight points, including "fire safety management policy inadequate", "fire detection system inadequate" and "escape routes and exits could not be used quickly and safely".

The RRO came into force in October 2006. The order means owners of all non-domestic properties are required to carry out a self-assessment of their fire safety provision, including hotels, factories and offices. At the same time, the old system of fire brigades issuing safety certificates was scrapped.

Representing the biggest revision of fire safety guidance since 1971, the change meant that buildings that had not updated fire safety for potentially more than 30 years were suddenly expected to adhere to stricter rules.

In its new role as enforcer, local fire brigades have the power to insist buildings make swift improvements or even demand an immediate closure.

The fire services in Devon and Cornwall view hotels and B &Bs as high risk as they fall within the "sleeping risk" category, and as such have targeted the sector for audits.

Between last October and the end of same month this year, Cornwall County Fire Brigade served 161 notices after conducting audits on just 550 properties.

Cornwall County Fire Brigade divisional officer Kevin Thomas, the brigade's senior fire safety officer, said they have had "considerable issues" with some hotels.

Mr Thomas said: "Some hotels have been very proactive, read the legislation and undertaken their own risk assessments or commissioned private sector consultants to do that for them. There is another section of society, which is the larger, for which it doesn't feature particularly highly on their agenda."

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, which only holds figures since the two counties' fire services merged in March last year, has issued 151 notices - 141 in Devon alone - following approximately 1,300 audits.

Graham Jackson, community safety protection manager of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said while most were carrying out the risk assessments, "there will always be individuals who will attempt short cuts" and that some businesses are "not attempting to move with the times".

He said: "It is these premises where people will be most at risk and therefore these are targeted by us to ensure compliance with the law. If we had very serious concerns about the safety of persons resorting to a premises we do not hesitate to prohibit or restrict the use of that premises until the risk is reduced to an acceptable level."

The public register of the notices shows that national chains, boutique hotels and small B &Bs have all recorded shortcomings.

The action taken by both services was almost always enforcement notices, which demand improvements are made within a strict date.

But 18 premises in Cornwall and one in Devon were given prohibition notices, a move seen as a "last resort" that closes all or part of a building until improvements are made.

Representatives from the tourism and hospitality industry, the backbone of the Westcountry economy, admitted that many hoteliers are yet to catch up with the new laws.

But some hit back, claiming the legislation was confusing, that small businesses are issued crippling improvement bills and that fire services are interpreting their enforcement powers differently.

John Dyson, health and technical affairs director of the British Hospitality Association, said: "The big issue for hotels is the guidance. There are 11 or so guidance documents each 120 pages long. That guidance can be quite a challenge for them."

David Weston, chairman of the Bed and Breakfast Association, said: "We have heard scare stories from the owners of B &Bs who, faced with a bill of £10,000 to £15,000, are having to close down. We think that hundreds of B &Bs will close."

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of South West Tourism, said: "It's about hoteliers getting used to the legislation and getting the help they need with interpretation. You could invest £12,000 on something not required."

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