Did you know that the ONLY REASON you have enclosed fire-rated stairwells in your high-rise hotel is for the event of fire?
You should already know that the enclosed fire-rated stairwells provide the exit way out of the building in case of fire. However, most people do not know that the enclosed fire-rated stairwells are also constructed into high-rise buildings to provide a “Place of Refuge” during a fire. A “Place of Refuge” means: a safe place where you can stay, and still be protected from the fire and smoke inside the building that is on fire.
Did you know that you always have at least two (2) enclosed fire-rated stairwells on your floor? At least two ways away from the fire and smoke? If the fire or smoke is between you and one of the enclosed fire-rated stairwells, there will be another enclosed fire-rated stairwell behind you or in another direction away from the fire or smoke.
There should be a diagram showing the location of your enclosed fire-rated stairwells in your elevator lobby, and on the door inside of every guest room. Stairwell names and floor designations are critical when firefighters need to assist in vertical evacuation so verify the names and locations of all your fire-rated enclosed stairwells. You should find the stairwell names and floor number on the stairwell signage in the stairwells, and possibly by the stairwell door in the hallway.
Your enclosed fire-rated stairwells have 2-hour fire-rated walls, and 1½-hour fire-rated doors.
What this means is the enclosed fire-rated stairwell door, which is the least rated between the wall and the door, has to burn for 1½ hours after the door ignites before heat, smoke or flame will penetrate into the fire-rated enclosed stairwell. That is a long time of protection inside the stairwells, especially when firefighters will most likely be on location for rescue in only 5 minutes after notifying them of an alarm or fire.
When properly maintained and kept closed, your enclosed fire-rated stairwells will provide adequate protection from fire and smoke for evacuation and staging in until fire fighters assist in the vertical evacuation, if needed. This is one of the most important features you need for surviving a high-rise building fire, and don’t forget that there are always more than one enclosed fire-rated stairwells on your floor.
This is just one of the building fire safety features that we discuss and teach along with high-rise fire safety procedures in our Hotel Employee Fire Safety Training Course. Other topics we discuss are:
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