Hotel deaths make case for fitting sprinklers in hotels irresistible, says BAFSA

TWin hotel fires

Sprinklers could have prevented two deaths caused by one of two recent hotel fires, according to the British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA[1]).

On 18 December, the same day that Dame Judith Hackitt published the interim report on building regulations commissioned in the wake of the Grenfell fire, two young men lost their lives in a fire at Cameron House Hotel[2] in Loch Lomond, Scotland. Another 200 guests were evacuated and the hotel suffered extensive damage. Earlier in the same day, 47 guests were evacuated from the Gateway to Wales Hotel[3] on Deeside in North Wales after fire broke out.

A number of guests in both hotels had to be rescued by Fire and Rescue Services as the fires spread rapidly. Neither hotels were fitted with automatic fire sprinklers.

Huge inferno that ripped through hotel popular with footballers killing two could have started on Christmas tree Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson were killed when the inferno engulfed the Cameron House hotel, on the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland[4]

— Scott Nelson (@SocialistVoice) December 24, 2017[5]

“Money well spent”

In a press release BAFSA said that “had sprinklers been fitted they would have controlled the fire or extinguished it and prevented the loss of two lives.” The press release continued: “Both hotels have had major refurbishments in the past to ensure that guests are able to enjoy the facilities provided to the full. However, would it not have been money well spent if some of the money had been spent on an automatic fire sprinkler system ensuring the guests safety as well as their comfort?”

Direct losses from fires in hotels and boarding houses amounts to more than GBP4m – 2% of the total cost of all UK fires – according to the Fire Protection Association (FPA). BAFSA acknowledges that progress has been made in terms of major international chains. However, smaller hotels should be installing sprinklers too, it argues.

“International hotel chains have long recognised the life safety and property protection benefits of comprehensive fire sprinkler protection and larger hotel chains, notably Marriott, Hilton and Starwood, have been routinely installing sprinkler systems in their hotels worldwide. “Looking at today’s loss of life and the horrendous experience that hotel guests were put through in the early hours of the morning, it must be time to consider fitting automatic fire sprinklers in all hotels?”

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Hotel deaths make case for fitting sprinklers in hotels irresistible, says BAFSA


  1. ^ BAFSA (
  2. ^ fire at Cameron House Hotel (
  3. ^ Gateway to Wales Hotel (
  4. ^ (
  5. ^ December 24, 2017 (
  6. ^ Free download: Fire safety guides from FIREX International (
  7. ^ Click here (

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