by Lisa Grimaldi | December 01, 2004

The following checklist was adapted from The Convention Industry Council Manual, 7th Edition; (703) 610-0278; www.conventionindustry.org

General Preparation

  • Discuss internal action plans for handling fire emergencies during meetings.
  • Coordinate emergency plans with the facility’s own plans. 
  • Designate staff to implement the plans, and delegate specific responsibilities. 
  • Compile a master copy of emergency contact information for all attendees.
  • Questions for the facility

  • Is a written emergency fire-evacuation plan for the entire facility in place? Does it include meeting and exhibit areas? 
  • Are all hotel employees and facility staff familiar with the emergency plan? 
  • What specific actions are taken when an alarm sounds? 
  • Are all guests instructed to evacuate in the event of a fire alarm? If not, what is the procedure? 
  • Is there a primary assembly point for evacuees? 
  • What is the evacuation plan for guests with disabilities or limited mobility? 
  • What does the fire alarm sound like (bell, horn, etc.)?
  • Do alarms directly alert the local fire department?
  • What is the proximity of the fire department and its estimated response time? 
  • Is there a paging or telephone system that reaches all occupants simultaneously? How does it work? When was the last time it was tested?
  • Are all exits clearly marked in hallways, guest rooms and function rooms? 
  • Are all exits clearly visible and well-illuminated?
  • Do all exit doors open in the direction of travel? 
  • Do exit doors lead directly out of the building? 
  • Are all stairwells well-lighted?
  • Do stairwells open to ground and roof levels? 
  • Are all stairwells enclosed and obstruction-free? 
  • Are any flammable materials stored or used in stairwells? 
  • Do all the stairwells have continuous hand rails for those with limited mobility or in the event of obscured visibility?
  • Are there alarm switches on each floor? 
  • Do meeting rooms have at least two exits relatively far apart from one another? 
  • Are all areas of the property equipped with sprinklers and smoke detectors? 
  • Is an emergency lighting system in place and run on a separate power system? 
  • In the event of a fire, are elevators automatically locked? 
  • Are ventilation systems turned off automatically in the event of a fire?
  • Are electrical circuits in sleeping rooms, meeting rooms and exhibit areas grounded? 
  • Are meeting room and exhibit-area circuits separate? 
  • Are the electrical outlets in the bathrooms GFI (ground fault interruption) protected? 
  • Can guest room windows be opened? Do any guest rooms have outside ledges or balconies?
  • Do all sleeping and meeting rooms have an emergency evacuation map prominently displayed?
  • Are there fire extinguishers and hoses on each floor? When were they last inspected? 
  • How often does the hotel conduct fire drills? When was the last one? 
  • When was the facility last inspected for fire safety? Were any violations found? If yes, have they been corrected? 
  • Where are the nearest fire hydrants? Are they accessible and in good working order?
  • What are the emergency numbers for the fire department and facility’s security office? Distribute these numbers to all event staff.