by By Lisa Grimaldi | February 01, 2007

The following checklist was adapted from The Convention Industry Council Manual, 7th Edition; (877) 429-8634; 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.
  • Create a master copy of emergency contact information for all attendees.
  • Working with the venue

  • 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 lit?
  • Do all exit doors open in the direction of travel?
  • Do exit doors lead directly out of the building?
  • Are all stairwells well lit?
  • Do stairwells open to ground and roof levels?
  • Are all stairwells enclosed and obstruction-free?
  • Are 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 that are 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 automatically turned off in the event of a fire?
  • Are electrical circuits in sleeping rooms, meeting rooms and exhibit areas grounded?
  • 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.