Ensuring Guest Safety in Hotels: best practice for handling utility outages

Recent severe weather events have resulted in serious hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy snowfalls, strong hurricane-force winds and widespread storm surges and flooding.

During many of these events, utility power supplies could be knocked out, forcing residents and businesses, including hotels, to rely on emergency generators to provide electricity.

Even more than a sense of comfort and style, the quality of the welcome, or even the level of service, hotel guests want to feel safe and secure in their hotel.

The hotel operator must take this responsibility seriously and understand that this concern knows no international boundaries. It is an important part of a hotel's duty of care. To ensure this sense of security, hotels must observe their local and national regulations, but be ready to go beyond these rules, incorporating the latest and best international practices.

Emergency generators are installed in hotels to prevent hazards associated with loss of utility electric power supplies. The reliability of power supplies for Fire and Life Safety Systems is fundamental.

In a hotel, the automatic power transfer switches that transfer the electricity source to the emergency generator, must be timed to provide electric power within 10 seconds of loss of utility power supply.

The life safety loads include:
• Illumination of the exits from a hotel building leading to the specific assembly points
• Alarm and alerting systems such as the fire alarm system
• Controlled emergency communication systems
• Emergency generator-set room lighting
• Fire suppression systems
• Smoke management systems

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