Does Your Hotel Have Sprinklers?
Does the hotel you're staying at have sprinklers for fire safety? That's a question worth asking according to experts interviewed by The Associated Press.
Many older hotels and motels were grandfathered under fire safety laws, and have avoided the cost of installing sprinklers. And people have been killed because of a lack of sprinklers -- AP uses a motel fire that killed four college students in Birmingham, Alabama, as one example.
The news service says about 3,900 hotel and motel fires are reported annually in the U.S., causing 15 deaths on average, but it's rare for a guest to die if the property has sprinklers, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
"It's much safer to stay in a sprinklered facility. It's unfortunate most travelers don't give that a thought," Robert Duval, senior fire investigator with the NFPA, tells AP.
Properties built or remodeled in the past 10 years are generally required to have sprinklers, though it's not something hotels tend to advertise.