Since 1995, HolidayTravelWatch has spoken with many holidaymakers either directly affected by fire in their holiday accommodation or indirectly, by reporting deficiencies as they see it, with Fire Safety mechanisms in their holiday hotels.
The 2012/2013 holiday season has been no exception, with complaints from holidaymakers who state that they were subject to:
- Ash exposure;
- Being directed toward the source of the fire by hotel staff;
- No refreshments provided or items provided to keep warm outside;
- Soot exposure;
- Late arrival of the local fire service (35-40 minutes after fire started);
- Holidaymakers being denied their request for fire safety report;
- Holidaymakers being denied their request for fire safety policies;
- Failure by hotel management to respond to questions about the cause of a fire;
- Plastic fumes;
- Holidaymakers finding themselves in pitch black conditions;
- Thick acrid smoke;
- ‘Electric’ escape exit would not open;
- Holidaymakers searching floors of hotel for relatives during the fire;
- Holidaymakers returning to burning building to search for relatives;
- No sign of staff;
- No fire alarms;
- Fire alarms broken;
- No emergency lighting;
- Fire exits blocked;
- Holidaymakers sick with smoke inhalation not receiving attention;
- Asthma and Heart Surgery holidaymakers not receiving attention following exposure to smoke;
- No illumination of fire exit signs;
- Lack of knowledge as to location of fire exits;
- No directional signs as to emergency exit – holidaymakers ran into smoke filled area;
- Holidaymakers from opposite hotel shouting warnings to holidaymakers in fire hotel to get out;
- Holidaymakers using iPhones & iPads to illuminate exits;
- Stairways became congested with people;
- Families separated – holidaymakers heard cries for help;
- Holidaymakers advised to return to the hotel shortly after fire extinguished;
- Holidaymakers concerned as to toxin exposure – not supplied with any information for onward use with health practitioners;
- Fire alarms in a state of disrepair;
- Fire alarms allegedly turned off;
- Some holidaymakers slept through fire emergency;
- Reports of one fire engine only being available in one major resort.
HolidayTravelWatch has created a report with these experiences and included a report from 1999 which highlighted the concerns from Consumer Safety International. This report has been circulated to the EU Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee and MEP's.
It is obvious that no action was taken by the EU in 1999; we consider that reform on Fire Safety is now long overdue!
Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayTravelWatch states:
"I am frankly amazed that no-one suffered serious injury or death from the fire incidents highlighted in our report! There is no longer the luxury of sitting back and doing nothing; we need a Pan-European wide Fire Safety Regulation in Holiday Accommodation and we need it now! I call upon the EU Parliament to create the conditions whereby this is moved to the top of the agenda and to no longer tolerate those who would seek to block this long overdue reform"