Advice on choosing accommodation when abroad
- Wherever possible, book into a good standard of accommodation and check that it has basic security and fire precaution systems in place e.g., 24 hour reception, smoke detectors, signed exits, etc.
- If possible book a room on the 2nd to 7th floor as those on the ground and 1st floors are the easiest to break into, whilst in some countries fire escapes do not extend above the 7th floor.
- Always check your nearest fire escape route when you first check into a new hotel. It is recommended that you count the number of doors, or steps required, between your room and the fire escape in case you are disorientated when the alarm goes off, should the lighting fail, or the corridor be smoke logged.
- Do not accept a room without any windows.
- Ask about hotel security. Is the main lobby staffed? Is it locked at night?
- Always remember to take your room key with you if you leave in an emergency situation. Should your means of escape be blocked, for example by fire or smoke you may have to return to your room to alert reception that you cannot escape and remain there until help arrives.
- Should you be trapped in your room due to fire / smoke, do not panic, lay some fabric material such as bed linen clothes, etc., across the bottom of the door to prevent ingress of smoke, open and stand next to the window where you can shout for help or wave light coloured material to attract attention.
- If you feel insecure in the room allocated to you do not be afraid to insist on a change.
- Always put your door on the latch at night.