Loss Control Tips for
Hotels, Rooming Houses,
& Lodging Houses


New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association is your fire insurance company.

You have purchased this insurance to provide financial protection in the event of a fire. No one wants to experience the loss of life, injury and disruption that a fire can cause. We have designed this brochure to highlight fire prevention methods for property owners and operators of hotels, lodging houses and rooming houses.

Many of the issues that concern owners and operators of these occupancies involve life safety and emergency egress. These include sufficient and marked exits, accessible fire escapes, and installation of sprinkler systems in public hallways. Because of the significant potential of loss of life, building departments, fire departments and other government regulators have comprehensive code requirements for hotels, lodging and rooming houses. These codes are the result of careful analysis of actual fires which have occurred over the years. Work necessary to adhere to code requirements should not be considered a burden for managers and workers who have busy and stress-filled days. Code adherence should be considered a way to prevent injury, maintain property, and safeguard jobs..

A checklist is provided to help you identify potential hazards in your premises. This checklist is by no means comprehensive, and is not intended as a substitute for knowing and understanding applicable codes and regulations. Please use the checklist to recognize what you need do to decrease the potential of fire.

Regularly inspect rooms in order to determine the following:

  • Are there use of hot plates or other cooking equipment? Enforce a policy strictly forbidding cooking in rooms. Supervise common cooking areas and maintain them.

  • Are tenants adhering to reasonable housekeeping standards? Identify tenants who may store unreasonable amounts of clothing, newspapers or combustible materials. Take action to eliminate the hazard.

  • Is there evidence of careless smoking burnt sheets or carpets, cigarette butts on the floor? Provide metal ashtrays.

  • Have tenants disabled smoke alarms? This may indicate the use of cooking equipment.

  • Are halls maintained free of debris? Provide metal trash containers with lids.

  • Are doors self-closing to prevent the spread of fire?

  • Are stairways kept clean?

  • Is the roof accessible to tenants? Prohibit use of the roof to prevent the accumulation of debris.

  • Are shaft ways free of any debris accumulation?

  • Is the sprinkler system in the building maintained? (Contact NYPIUA for additional information concerning sprinklers.)

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