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Consequences of Fire Damage in Hotels and Motels
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Most of us have stayed in a hotel or motel, or a similar lodging establishment such as a bed and breakfast, and while we are there, we like to think we are able to go to sleep at night and awaken in the morning without serious incidents occurring. Unfortunately, lodging establishments do occasionally suffer damage from problems such as fire, which may break out unexpectedly and cause damage to several units before being caught and extinguished.
US fire departments have responded to over 10,000 hotel or motel structure fires during the last decade. These fires caused an annual average of 11 civilian deaths, 151 civilian fire-related injuries, and more than $63 million in property damages.
During the average year, 1 out of every 12 hotels or motels reported a structure fire, with cooking equipment being the cause in 40% of the blazes, 18% of the injuries, and 7% of the property damages. 5% of the fires were intentionally set, and while 11% of the fires began in a guest room, they caused more than 70% of the injuries.
Hotels and motels suffer considerable loss of revenue following a structure fire depending on how many units were damaged and how many others may be uninhabitable due to their proximity to the damaged units during the repair process. Obviously, the more rooms that are damaged means fewer rooms available for rent. Rooms not touched by the blaze may still experience damage as a result of smoke or soot making their way through the ventilation system.
The hotel or motel may have to not only repair the room, but also replace any furniture or appliances that may have been damaged or destroyed. This includes beds, tables, chairs, refrigerators, and other furniture. When multiple units are involved, the replacement costs alone may be quite steep.
There also figures in the factor of the cost required to replace the belongings of guests who may have been staying in the room at the time of the fire. There may also be issues related to injuries sustained by guests or employees which, while paid by insurance, also means the hotel or motel may find themselves facing steeper insurance rates.
The good news is that most motel and hotel fires are minor, with 73% confined to the point of origin and only 8% extended beyond the room where the fire initially began. Many of these minor blazes are knocked down by alert employees who are able to make proper use of fire extinguishers and other equipment.
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