TripAdvisor threatens ban for fireman sounding the alarm on fire safety breaches

Ex fireman Alan Cox has been told he will be banned from putting hotel reviews on TripAdvisor if he continues to highlight potential fire risks. Alan was a fire officer in the Midlands for 15 years, and worked in the NHS and for HSBC as a senior fire safety office for almost thirty years. He was shocked when he received an email from TripAdvisor saying: “Please be sure to only post travel related information to avoid your account from being disabled in the future. Posting about whether a hotel is up to fire code is not considered travel related.”

Alan says: “This is absurd. Surely people have a right to know whether hotel managers are putting their family at risk of injury or even death from fire. Ineffective fire doors and blocked fire escapes are the most common problems I encounter, but there are all sorts of risks out there that could encourage fire and smoke to spread through a hotel extremely quickly.”

Hotel fires are more common than many people think with most recent examples including Crathorne Hall in Yarm, North Yorkshire and the Best Western in Falmouth, Devon where serious damage was caused to the properties but no one was hurt. However, there have been several tragic cases reported where hotel guests lost their lives such as at the Penhallow Hotel in Newquay and the Moat House in Bolton.

Alan continues: “I would have thought that most people would be at least as interested in this as what the swimming pool or restaurant is like! The law makes it very clear what hotel managers’ responsibilities are. However I don’t believe that most of the hotels I have stayed in are blatantly ignoring them, it’s more about lack of awareness of their obligations which is why they need to find out what they should be doing to safeguard their guests by educating themselves through programmes such as the Fire Door Inspection Scheme Diploma course.”