Are you planning to start a small (or large) hotel? Congratulations! But make sure you are fully compliant with fire safety requirements. They are regulated by the Flemish Tourism Decree of 1 April 2017.
The decree divides accommodation according to their size:
- Room-related accommodation with less than 6 rental units and less than 13 sleeping accommodations
- Room-related accommodation with more than 5 rental units or with more than 12 sleeping accommodations
- Terrain-related accommodation (like camping grounds)
Small hotels are the easiest to sort out. They fall into the first category and must follow the standard regulations for fire extinguishers: one extinguishing unit (a 6l foam extinguisher or a 6kg powder extinguisher) per floor and per 150 m². We ourselves always recommend foam fire extinguishers in such situations, because foam is much easier to clean up and causes far less collateral damage. Check out our article "Which fire extinguisher for B&B?" for more information about fire protection in small accommodations.
For larger hotels (with more than 5 rental units or with more than 12 beds) things get a lot more complicated. The decree further subdivides this type of accommodation into the following categories:
- Buildings for which one or more rental units are on the first, second or third floor, including the lowest evacuation level
- Buildings for which one or more rental units are higher than the third above-ground level but less than 25 metres above-ground;
- Buildings for which the rental units are at an altitude of 25 metres or higher.
The higher the building, the stricter the rules will be, especially for the number and type of escape routes, fire ladders and emergency lighting.
As for the number of fire extinguishers, the decree states that "the number and location of fire extinguishers are determined by the nature and extent of the danger". In general, it will suffice to follow the same basic rules as those for small hotels and B&Bs, but it is possible that a fire service audit will still impose larger or more fire extinguishers. Larger buildings must also be provided with fire reels.
Don't forget that all three subcategories have to install a fire alarm system (so-called automatic fire detection). Only tourist accommodation consisting of one rental unit with a maximum of 32 beds may use linked autonomous detectors (i.e. battery operated) in every area of the tourist accommodation.
Fire extinguishers in hotels are food for specialists. Contact our experts if you need more information!