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Hotels reviewing fire safety as Premier Inn admits concerns over cladding

23 June 2017 by
Hotels reviewing fire safety as Premier Inn admits concerns over cladding

Hotel groups are reviewing the fire safety procedures and materials used in their buildings in light of the recent Grenfell Tower fire, with Premier Inn admitting concerns over the cladding on three of its hotels.

A fire ripped through the Grenfell Tower apartment block in west London in the early hours of 14 June. It is believed that 79 people died in the tragedy. Investigations are ongoing, and it has been revealed the insulation and cladding tiles at the building failed safety tests.

Premier Inn has said it is "concerned" about the cladding on its Maidenhead, Brentford and Tottenham hotels following a review that found they did not appear to comply with government guidance for tall buildings, and are seeking to address this with the developers.

A spokesperson for Premier Inn, which operates more than 760 hotels, said it had been assured by an independent fire expert that all the hotels are safe to operate and have robust fire safety measures and evacuation procedures in place, including fire detectors and alarms in every bedroom and fire-resisting bedroom doors.

He also confirmed the cladding on the hotels is not the same as that used on Grenfell Tower, adding: "The safety and security of our guests and team members is our number one priority. Our hotels have multiple means of escape, and our well trained teams evacuate a hotel at the first sign of fire."

Other hotel groups also said that they are conducting reviews of their properties and fire safety regulations.

A spokesperson for InterContinental Hotels Group said the group requires owners to meet all building regulations and local codes, as well as a "rigorous" set of fire and safety requirements and operational procedures.

"We are currently working with our hotel owners to assess properties operating under our brands. We are also tracking the government and local authority investigations into Grenfell very carefully. As the findings of official reports are released we will continue to work with owners and operators of our hotels to provide the support and guidance needed to meet any new or updated building regulations or codes," the spokesperson said.

A Hilton spokesperson confirmed the group is conducting a review of its UK hotels and will address any actions that may be required. They said: "As a global hospitality company, we have extremely rigorous fire protection and life safety requirements, ones that meet or exceed national regulations in all of our hotels.

"These requirements include extensive active and passive fire safety measures, covering room compartmentation, detection, alarm and suppression systems and team member training, all of which are routinely tested.

"Moreover, our brand standards mandate that our hotels must comply with local building codes and regulations, including materials used throughout our properties."

Travelodge said that it has "high specification fire alarms" throughout its 540 plus hotels. "We instruct people to evacuate the building immediately and we have multiple fire evacuation routes," said a spokesperson.

"However, in common with many other businesses and local authorities, we have commenced a review of our estate to establish whether there are any opportunities to strengthen our fire protection measures. Should any issues be identified from our assessments we will take the corrective actions necessary in accordance with a risk assessment. In the meantime, our external safety advisors have confirmed that our comprehensive fire safety measures mean that our buildings remain safe to operate."

A spokesperson for AccorHotels said all hotels it owns are fully compliant with building regulations: "In light of the shocking recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower and for additional peace of mind we are conducting a precautionary review to make absolutely certain that they are all constructed of flame retardant materials. In the event of this review finding any risk with construction materials then we will of course test these materials.

"To further enhance the safety of our guests and compliance with stringent regulations we are also in the final stages of forming an official Primary Authority agreement with a fire authority which will validate our fire safety management strategy."

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