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Fire safety in existing hotels

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Fire safety in existing hotels

SUMMARY OF:

Council Recommendation 86/666/EEC on fire safety in existing hotels

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE RECOMMENDATION?

  • It seeks to define a minimum fire safety level for all hotels in EU countries.
  • It recommends EU countries to take a series of actions to ensure that hotels meet these standards.

KEY POINTS

Precautions

EU countries are recommended to introduce fire precautions in order to meet 4 objectives:

  • minimise the risk of fire breaking out;
  • prevent the spread of flames and smoke;
  • ensure all occupants can be evacuated safely;
  • enable the emergency services to take action.

Principles

EU countries are urged to take action to ensure that hotels are subject to rules based on a series of principles. These include:

  • safe escape routes should be available, unobstructed and clearly marked;
  • buildings should be structurally stable in the event of fire — at least for as long as necessary to allow occupants to evacuate safely;
  • the presence or use of highly flammable materials in wall, ceiling and floor coverings and interior decoration is limited;
  • warning systems should be installed and in full working order;
  • staff should be given suitable instructions and training.

Technical guidelines

The annex to the recommendation contains technical guidelines. These relate in particular to:

  • the location and signage of escape routes;
  • the construction of the building;
  • coverings and decoration;
  • electricity, heating and ventilation systems;
  • firefighting, alarm and alerting equipment; and
  • safety instructions.

Inspections

Hotels should be inspected periodically.

Report

In 2001, as envisaged in the recommendation, the European Commission issued a report on the measures EU countries had introduced to apply it. It noted that the impact in the different EU countries depended on the level of protection already in place and on how national law has been transposed. In some countries, national laws already included or even went beyond the recommendation’s technical guidelines or minimum requirements; however, in others, it had only been partially implemented, being applied only to the construction of new hotels or work in existing establishments.

Follow-up

On a related issue, the Commission prepared a report in 2013 on the existing rules on the safety of certain services to consumers at national level across the EU and in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Among other things, this looked at their respective national rules on the safety of tourism accommodation services.

A public consultation on the safety of tourism accommodation services was conducted by the Commission in 2014. Having processed the feedback, the Commission concluded that there was no connection between the existing rules across EU countries, the absence of EU-level regulation due to subsidiarity and risks to consumers.

FROM WHEN DOES THE RECOMMENDATION APPLY?

It has applied since 22 December 1986.

ACT

Council Recommendation 86/666/EEC of 22 December 1986 on fire safety in existing hotels (OJ L 384, 31.12.1986, pp. 60–68)

RELATED ACTS

Report from the Commission on application of the Council Recommendation of 22 December 1986 on fire safety in existing hotels (86/666/EEC) (COM(2001) 348 final of 27.6.2001)

last update 27.06.2016

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