Las Vegas is known for welcoming millions of visitors each year, so it is not surprising that it has more than four times the number of hotel rooms per capita than the national average. Some of these hotels have experienced major fire tragedies in the past.
The second deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history took place in 1980, at what was then the MGM Grand. It took the lives of 87 people and hundreds were injured. The fire shocked officials into action, causing changes to code that have potentially saved many lives in the decades since. But hotel fires still cause death, injury and damage each year.
The last major fire at a Las Vegas hotel was on July 25, 2015, when a massive blaze broke out on the rooftop of the Cosmopolitan. The fire fed on highly flammable artificial palm trees, and resulted in over $2 million in damage, but caused no loss of life.
“The fire at the Cosmopolitan shows that further steps are needed to keep hotel guests safe,” says hotel injury lawyer Las Vegas George T. Bochanis. “Hotels have a duty to protect their guests from danger, and should be held accountable when they fail to do so.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, one hotel in twelve reports a fire each year. The majority of these are quickly contained and result in no injuries to staff or guests, but guests should not take comfort in this. An average of twelve people die each year in hotel fires, with approximately 150 more injured.
Nearly 10% of these hotel fires are started by smoking and start in the bedroom. Even though most remain confined to the room where they started, if a fire does spread it usually covers the entire building.
“Hotel guests need to have an escape plan and be aware that fire is a real danger, especially when heavy smoke is present,” Bochanis confirms. Though fire dangers have declined, they still present a risk to guests, who may need to contact a hotel injury lawyer Las Vegas if affected by a hotel fire.