A Tale of Two Motel Fires

On March 21, 2014, a fire at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Peru, Illinois, was caused by an air conditioning/heating unit shorting out in one of the rooms. Thanks to the successful activation of the motel’s fire sprinkler system, the fire was contained to the room of origin. The quick response of the fire sprinkler system helped avert a potential catastrophe and no one was injured.

The fire sprinkler system at the La Quinta Inn & Suites was required through the city of Peru’s adoption of the International Building Code. In fact, all of the national model building codes now require fire sprinklers due to their lifesaving benefits.

Unfortunately, another motel fire made national news that very same day because local codes did not require fire sprinklers. A fire at Mariner’s Cove Motor Inn in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, killed four people and injured eight. No fire sprinklers were present to prevent the spread of the fire.

The drastic results between these two motel fires provides clear evidence that following the national model building codes can save lives.

These fires also provide a reminder for motel and hotel guests to keep fire safety in mind during their stays. Guests should always check for functioning smoke detectors and know where the closest fire exit is located. Most importantly, guests should be sure there is a fire sprinkler system present. Fire sprinklers are the only technology that will actively control or extinguish the fire and allow occupants to safely escape.


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