October 28th, 2008
I’ve been wondering lately why in most hotels, there is a fire axe provided alongside the fire extinguisher. In most cases the fire axe is readily accessed by means of opening the protective glass door and is prominently displayed in the hotel hallway. Maybe I’m just thinking about this because it’s Halloween time, but way too many horror movies have sprung from just this convenience.
I’m wondering why anyone in the thinking world would dare place an axe within grabbing distance after they’ve seen The Shining, and not that made for TV travesty….I’m talking Stanley Kubrick.
I looked it up. The reason, according to wikipedia that fire axes are still available in many hotels and public places is that they are supposed to be used to pry open doors, remove doorways from the door trim in the event that the knob is too hot to touch, and also to cut through electrical wires.
I can somewhat understand the prying open of doors, even the need to actually remove the door, but in the event of a fire I have absolutely no intention of searching out any electrical wires to cut.
I have compiled what I believe to be a more practical list of items to include in hotel fire safety collections.
1. Industrial grade oven mits to be used for turning door handles that have become too hot to touch – far less potential for horror than the fire axe, and serves the same purpose.
2. Parachutes in every room, for jumping out of very tall buildings. I used to work in a hotel that was forty-two stories tall. The fire department ladders only reached to the fifteenth floor. You do the math.
3. Included with the parachutes, hangliders on the roof. That way, in the event of a horrible hotel fire that prevents guests from escaping via the lower floors, one could make a break for the roof, strap themselves into a hanglider and sail away….hell, even when you consider the worse possible outcome of a legion of untrained hanglider patrons sailing over a metropolitan area, it can’t be worse than being trapped in a fire.
4. Many, many, many more fire extinguishers. I mean lots of fire extinguishers. No more of just one per floor. If I had my druthers, I would have one for each room, maybe two for each room, and a complimentary bucket of baking soda to keep under the bed just in case.
I personally plan on taking the fire axe from every hotel and hiding it in my closet, just so the serial killer in the next room can’t find it later.