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hotel/motel safety


Begin at Home

Begin preparing for a hotel fire before you leave home. Pack a flashlight and portable smoke detector as well as your travel alarm. The flashlight can guide you through a dark and smoky hall. A battery-operated smoke detector, placed on a hanger at the top of the door to your room, will alert you to possible fires at night when you're sleeping. Remember not to place it near an air conditioner or in front of an air supply duct, because the fresh air flow may prevent smoke-filled air from setting off the alarm.

Checking In.

Verify the security features of a hotel at check in. If you cannot determine the answers yourself, ask hotel personnel. Some safety issues to consider:
  • Are hallways and elevators well lighted?
  • Is the front desk staffed around the clock?
  • Do guestrooms have double-locks and peepholes?
  • Does the hotel employ 24-hour security personnel and, if so, how can they be reached?
  • In some smaller hotels, the outside doors lock at a certain hour. If that is the case, what is the best way to re-enter?

When registering, some people — especially women traveling alone — prefer to sign only their first initial and last name. Be sure to advise the front desk not to release your room number to callers or visitors. If your room is not ready when you arrive, ask to have your luggage stored in a secure area and ask for a receipt.


Safeguard Your Key.

Know where your room key/card is at all times. When you’re in your room, always put the key in the same place — the night table is a good choice — so you can find it quickly. If you leave during an emergency, take the key with you; if the exits are impassable or if it’s a false alarm you will need to get back into your room.

Inside Your Room.
Use all available locks and chains on doors and windows while in the room. Always look through the peephole before opening the door, and never open the door to a stranger. When you leave your room, lock all luggage; use a cable lock on a laptop computer. Put anything of value in the hotel safe, and ask for a receipt for anything you’ve entrusted to the hotel.

Fire Safety

Plan Ahead

  • When making your reservations, ask if the hotel or motel has smoke detectors and fire sprinklers.
  • When traveling, take a flashlight with you.
  • Read the fire evacuation plan carefully. If one is not posted in your room, request one from the front desk.
  • Locate the two exits from your room.
  • Count the number of doors between your room and the exits. This will assist you in the need of an emergency evacuation.
  • Locate the fire alarms on your floor.
  • Never smoke in bed.

Contact us

 Call (574) 272-2144
Fax (574) 272-4043
Write: 18355 Auten Rd
 South Bend, IN 46637
Police-Fire-EMS-Dial 911


David Cherrone
Fire Marshal
Ron Melser Jr.
Lieutenant, Fire Prevention Specialist

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

 Evening Information

For all Non-emergency information during evening and weekend hours please leave a message with duty shift.  Your call will be answered on the next day's regular business hours.

Life Safety Steps

If the fire is in your room, get out quickly. Close the door, sound the alarm and notify the front desk.

Always use a stairwell, never an elevator. The elevator could stop at the floor of the fire.

If the fire is not in your room, leave if it is safe to do so. Be sure to take your room key with you in case fire blocks your escape and you need to re-enter your room.

To check the hallway for fire, touch the door with the back of your hand to test the temperature. If the door is cool, get low to the floor, brace your shoulder against the door and open it slowly. Be ready to close it quickly if there are flames on the other side. Crawl low in the smoke to the nearest exit; the freshest air is near the floor.

If your room door is hot, do not open it. Instead, seal the door with wet towels or sheets. Turn off the fans and air conditioners. Call the fire department to give your location. Signal from your window.
Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act

The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 was passed into law by Congress to save lives and protect property by promoting fire and life safety in hotels, motels and other places of public accommodation.
 Date Last Modified: Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Mailing Address:  18355 Auten Road, South Bend, IN 46637
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