Misstep 14: On My Soapbox

First of all: This issue was reported to a representative of this facility. Furthermore, the door was shut.

As I mentioned last week, I was in a hotel again — and doing laundry (hence “On My Soapbox”). The laundry room was on a far-away floor in a corner with limited visibility, in its own room. So, anything nefarious here may go unnoticed. The room was also apparently without camera (though was behind a proxcard reader).

As soon as I entered the room, I noticed a door that said “Electrical Closet” next to it, and the door was open. Inside, a collection of air filters and other uninteresting back stock. On the wall, two open fire panels stood proud

Exposed Hotel Fire System
Exposed Hotel Fire System

A cheap wafer lock exists on the red fire alarm panel, and the other panel should be held shut with screws.

Exposing wiring for a fire system can create an issue if a fire control is bypassed, or inadvertently triggered, there is also a risk of injury with exposing wiring to guests as well. In this case, the problem was mentioned to a facility representative, and I had secured the door before leaving the laundry.

Hotels are complex buildings with a multitude of integrated controls, and using these rooms to store back stock invites housekeeping and maintenance folks to leave the door open or prop it when they need to change air filters for each room. In this case, the door was probably a training issue — the fire panel, however, is probably due to a fire system integrator that wasn’t properly trained, and not directly tied to the hotel.

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Robert Lerner

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