How is it possible that hotels almost always have fire and egress door issues?  It seems like they would get it right once, then duplicate those good applications across the chain and make sure that they’re maintained.  Yet hotels have been a great source of Doors Gone Wrong.

Here are some hotel doors from Zeke Wolfskehl.  I can’t help but wonder how his wife Karen reacts to him taking door photos on vacation.  I guess she’s probably used to it by now.  My husband tries to get as far away from me and my camera as possible, in case I get busted.

These doors don’t look so bad at first…I wouldn’t specify a mullion here but it’s not necessarily *wrong* (although possibly inconvenient for luggage and carts).  The exit sign placement is nice, the doors are held open on magnetic holders which I’m assuming will release and allow the doors to closer upon fire alarm.  I see a sprinkler head, a fire alarm pull station, a fire extinguisher, the fire exit hardware is present…

Ahhh…here we go.  I wonder what happened to the filler plate.  And what’s underneath all that paint.


And from the hotel restaurant, some egress instructions that will likely not be readable in a fire situation.  I recently had a little “cooking incident” and I’ll tell you what…the top half of my first floor filled with smoke in a minute.  It’s a good thing the kids and the dog are short.  A piece of paper taped on the top half of a door – even with highlighting and arrows, will not be visible when the room fills with smoke.

I think hotels should be near the top of the list for which facilities are most in need of an annual fire door inspection.  They’re filled with people who are not familiar with the egress routes and spend a large percentage of their time in the building asleep, most have multiple floors and many are high-rise buildings, and they have a fairly high incidence of fire.

According to the NFPA, there were an average of 3,700 hotel fires per year between 2006 and 2010 – in an average year, 1 of every 12 hotels or motels reported a structure fire.  These fires resulted in an average of 12 civilian deaths and 143 injuries, with $127 million in property damage.  A fire door inspection would not completely solve the problem, but it could help.

If you’re thinking, “This is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday and she rambled on for 427 words,” you’re right.  I’m making up for the long weekend without any contact with my door peeps.

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