People who travel don’t realize that the hotel or motel they are staying at may not have sprinkler systems. This is a deadly fire hazard danger that exists in many hotel or motels around the country. But many older hotel or motels are not legally require to have the sprinkler systems installed. Since the horrific fire that killed 87 people at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in 1980, there has been a national push to require sprinkler systems in all new hotels and motels. This has helped bring the fire deaths down significantly.
Federal officials estimate that 3,900 hotel and motel fires are reported to fire departments across the country each year, this causing on average 15 deaths, 150 injuries and about $76 million in property losses. The lack of sprinklers in many older motels has been proven to be a big problem. The National Fire Protection Association says it’s rare for a guest to die when there is a fire in a room with the sprinkler system. They say there hasn’t been a documented fire in a “sprinklered” hotel that killed more than one person.
Newer hotels, must have the sprinkler system, while older one do not. A study by the U.S. Fire Administration for the years 2002-2007, found that about 60% of hotels and motels reporting fires lacked sprinklers. Also, the NFPA found that every single fire death from 2002 to 2005 was in a motel or hotel that lacked a sprinkler system.