How a Firefighter Checks into a Hotel Room

by | Family Health, Fire Family Life

Hotel Clerk
:  Can I help you?

FF:  We’re checking in.
(scanning the lobby locating the emergency exits and check out the clientele) 

Hotel Clerk:  Ok, we have your reservation.  You’re going to be in room 522

FF:  Sorry but do you have anything on the first or second floor?

Hotel Clerk:  Ummm, yes, we have a room with 2 doubles at 219

FF:  Is that an interior room or are there windows to the outside?

Hotel Clerk:  All of our rooms have windows.

FF:  And they open?
(thinking ‘I’ll smash the darn things no matter what’) 

Hotel Clerk:  No sir.  That would be a hazard to our guests.

FF:  Is the room near a stairwell?

Hotel Clerk:  It’s 3 doors from the end of the hallway where the stair wells are.

FF: (thinking, who will I grab first and what is our B plan exit route?)   Ok, that will work.  Thank you.

(Walking towards the room with the family)

FF:  Honey, kids, can everyone find the bright EXIT signs?

Family:   Yes, Dad (completely lacking enthusiasm)

FF:  Everyone know where to go to get out if there is a fire?

Family:   Yes, Dad (still completely lacking enthusiasm)


Ok, so I’m exaggerating the dialogue a bit but I’m certain I’m not exaggerating the thoughts running through his head!   What a wide variety of scenarios for hotel fire fighting.  A few examples from our recent trip:

New York City:  Upper East side of Manhattan.  8th floor.  Nice hotel with a creeky old elevator that was being remodeled.   A fire in that building is a nightmare!   We were all glad to leave that noisy, crowded city after only 36 hours.

Boston:  We stayed 4 nights here and asked for the first floor this time.  Worked out great because it was 2 doors from the pool and the public restrooms.  (With 6 people in a room, having a second bathroom nearby is handy!)  FF Dad rested peacefully… to the window.

Maine:  A 2 bedroom / kitchenette cottage right out of 1972 that would fit entirely into our family room.   Since it was stand alone, there was a little less worry of some other hotel guest making stupid decisions.

Vermont:  A luxurious reprieve when placed us at a ski resort in a 2 bedroom, 2 story loft condo.  H-E-A-V-E-N!   I think we were the only ones in the whole building and it was the first time we had separate sleeping quarters in 12 days!   I don’t think we were concerned about fire exit plans by this moment.

Last night on the road:   Embassy Suites.  A hotel where all 6 of us are guaranteed to not have to sleep on the floor.  The kids ooh and ah over the jungle like atrium with all rooms overlooking the gorgeous scenery.  A firefighters worst nightmare for search and rescue if there’s a fire.  Smoke all over the atrium interior.  No one leaves their room.   (Note to self:  steer clear of Embassy Suites so hubby can rest easy)


Having 4 children age 12 and under on a cross country excursion brings enough worries of its own.  But had one of these hotels we booked sight-unseen been woefully unsafe, I do believe we would have spent the night in our van.

I’m getting no benefits from any particular hotels so lets share.  Any good recommendations for hotels that are up to the standards of our firefighters?  (bonus points if they accommodate 6 people to a room / suite!)




The following two tabs change content below.
On a mission to be and inspire us all to be better humans, to strengthen fire families & marriages, to nurture and encourage fire wives, do "good business" in all areas of my life and of course, love on my 4 kids.

Latest posts by Firefighter Wife (see all)


  1. Spencer

    Can blame your husband. After all, it is the nature of his job, and part of it is being prepared for any eventuality to a point of paranoia (at least in the opinion of the uninitiated.

  2. kevin

    Wow, safety is an issue no matter what you are doing, but I for one never gave a second thought to fire safety when staying in a hotel, but I bet I will after reading your article. Thanks for sharing your families trip, and your husbands worries.

  3. Janine

    I swear my husband was born a twin, they were separated at birth, and you have married him…LOL…welcome to my world.

  4. Maribeth

    Hotels, restaurants, movies, arenas, churches…etc. as a third generation firefighter wife it goes with the territory . 😉

  5. Will smith

    Being a firefighter myself I would not stay in a hotel above the seventh floor. Most aerial ladders do not reach above the seventh floor.

  6. Nikki L. Schuller

    I am the one who is checking out the room, not for the same things mind you. I have allergies that many don’t understand or for that matter have heard of before i ask for certain things to be removed. Wool and feathers are the biggest ones. Also I wish hotels wouldn’t try to mask cigarette smoke smell and say it is a non-smoking room!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *