Lessons Learned From Hotel Fires

The fire at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas reminded me of two occasions when I’ve had to evacuate a hotel after a fire alarm went off. Neither case involved a real fire, but I learned something from the experiences, nevertheless.

The main thing I learned was that it’s wise to bring a full set of clothes with you to the pool. We were staying in a hotel in Manchester, N.H., in the winter when the fire alarm went off. The husband and the kid had to walk out of the hotel in their swimsuits, and were very glad to see me arrive from the hotel room with their winter coats and keys to the car.

On the other occasion, a fire alarm went off and the husband was about to open the room door when I stopped him and put the palm of my hand on the surface of the door to check whether it was hot. (It wasn’t.) I guess that goes to show you who was paying attention in those third-grade fire awareness sessions.

A cautious relative who is in the fire service says he won’t take a room above the fourth floor in any hotel, a choice predicated on his knowledge of how far a firetruck ladder can reach. I’m not that cautious, but I do always note where the stairwells are, just in case.


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