Tag Archives: Disabled

Hotel Safety

DO THEY TAKE FIRES SERIOUSLY?

Fire safety in hotelsThe question of hotel fire safety is one many people take for granted – until it’s too late!

We’ve all seen the notices about escape routes, assembly points and, of course, the “don’t use lifts (elevators) in case of fire”. Most often nothing goes wrong so we tend to forget about them, but we still need to have them so that if the worst does happen we can get out quickly, under our own steam.

But what if the guests are disabled or have reduced mobility? Clearly then the hotel is obliged to provide the required assistance, but in an emergency such as a fire hotel staff have many things to do. Are they able to help PRM guests?

Imagine a disable guest located on a high floor, who can’t use a lift. The problems are all too obvious.

Forward planning, both by the guests and the hotel, would be helpful. The guest would for example, when booking, advise the hotel of a disability. The hotel could then ensure that a ground floor room is allocated, thus alleviating the problem of stairs (one less issue). It would be easier and safer for both guests and hotel if this simple procedure was followed. So why isn’t it?

Most hotels, when accepting reservations, take “requests” for such things as views, room types etc, and for most people this is satisfactory. However, for disabled people a request (as above) for a ground floor room is more than simply a “would like” it’s a “must have”, yet hotels say they can’t guarantee such things.

Why not?

With the exception of walk-in guests, reservations are made in advance so hotels are fully aware of requirements at particular times, so of course they can allocate suitable rooms. The fact that they won’t shows that they don’t rate guest safety as a high priority!

As said, most times problems don’t arise, but travellers who are willing to take risks and accept less than satisfactory hotel policies are dicing with death – literally!

Isn’t it time legislation was introduced, & enforced, to make sure hotels safeguard guests in these situations? The same goes for travel agents, they too should do more!

In the meantime guests have the ultimate weapon, choice! Don’t accept unsafe practice, choose a hotel that cares about its guests!

When it’s needed

WHY IT CAN’T WAIT

Stair liftFor people who get around easily it’s sometimes difficult to understand the problems for those who can’t. Even walking up stairs can be a major obstacle. Take the case of a person who, because of hip and spinal problems, struggled to climb the stairs in their home. This person thought a stair lift would be a solution, so applied to the local council for financial assistance (these items can be expensive).

The actual process of installation would take one day, with possibly a few hours previously for preparation work. This person started the application process. After 2 years a physical assessment was done and it was agreed a stair lift was necessary. Great they thought, help at last. But No, not yet. They were told that it could be another 2 years before their application is approved, if indeed approved it is. If not, the 4 year wait will have been in vain.

The point here is this; when such a mobility aid is required is it reasonable to expect a person in difficulties to wait 4 years? Clearly not! These delays are always put down to financial pressures, so why then is the UK government still sending £Bn to other countries? There’s something fundamentally wrong with a system that puts foreigners ahead of its own citizens!

Update 07/08/14I’ve managed to obtain a copy of the documents that were required to be completed in order to apply for the grant mentioned above. Up to 62 pages of information had to be provided before the council would even consider the application. If that isn’t designed to deter applicants I don’t know what is!