Safety Tip

Choose a hotel that’s protected by both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system. Read all of NFPA's hotel and motel safety tips and download our free safety tip sheet.

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 3,700 structure fires per year at hotel or motel properties between 2006-2010. These fires caused average annual losses of 12 civilian deaths, 143 civilian injuries, and $127 million in direct property damage each year.

Facts & figures

  • In an average year, one of every 12 hotels or motels reported a structure fire.
  • Smoking materials started 10% of the fires in hotels and motels; these fires caused 79% of the deaths.
  • Only 8% of hotel and motel fires were intentionally set, but these accounted for 12% of the associated property damage.
  • Twelve percent of fires in hotels and motels began in a bedroom; these fires caused 72% of the associated civilian deaths and 31% of civilian injuries. 
  • When sprinklers were present and operated, 91% of sprinklers in hotel or motel fires operated effectively when present. 

Source: NFPA's "Hotel and Motel Structure Fires" report by Ben Evarts, July 2012.

Video: NFPA's Lisa Braxton says it's just as important to be prepared and know what to do in a hotel/motel emergency as it is in your own home.

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