Except for a handful of properties, many hotels in America are turning toward a smoke-free property, largely for health and safety reasons, but also because smoke can be incredibly destructive to property and furnishings.
While it’s easy enough to keep smokers confined to designated rooms, the smoke itself is harder to contain. While hotel smoke detectors protect guests, smoking in a room can cause significant property damage.
Cigarette smoke is unique to other odor-emitting materials. The smell lingers long after cigarettes have been smoked. Everything from carpet fibers to furniture and even the cabinets and walls can harbor the stale smell for months after a smoker leaves. In fact, it was found that non-smokers who slept in a non-smoking hotel room tested positive for smoke exposure.1 Non-smoking hotel rooms typically had more third-hand smoke when they were part of hotels that allowed smoking in designated rooms.
Many hotels are opting to go smoke-free, including Choice Hotels, Wyndham Grand, and Hilton’s brands, Canopy and Tru. Hoteliers even say that smokers ask for non-smoking rooms these days. It’s an issue for hotels, as they incur extra expenses to clean and maintain smoking rooms, as well as handling the cost of replacing items damaged by smoke and cigarette burns. With shifts toward better health, no one wants a smoking room anymore—even smokers.
To combat ruined furnishings, hotels must take action. Housekeepers typically have to use odor-neutralizing chemicals in addition to cleaning the HVAC filters that harbor the smell. The rooms often have to be removed from inventory to receive a thorough clean and new upholstery, if necessary. This process can take a considerable amount of time and money.
These tasks may help to reduce cigarette smoke in hotel rooms:
- Clean the air: Fresh, dry air can help to banish bad smells. Keep the windows open for as long as possible while cleaning and afterward.
- Remember rugs and carpets: Carpets can take up a lot of surface area, often being one of the worst offenders when it comes to trapping odors. Don’t forget to wash rugs and vacuum carpets well.
- Don’t forget the ceiling: Smoke rises, which means that the ceiling is one of the main points of contact. Wipe down ceilings with a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts water.
- Refresh cabinets and furniture: Wipe down washable surfaces with the vinegar solution, and air out drawers and cupboards. If odor remains, it may be wise to replace the piece of furniture while you remove it for thorough cleaning.
- Repaint walls: If all else fails, you can repaint the walls with an odor-blocking primer which has been found to eliminate around 90 percent of the smell.
- Install cigarette smoke detectors in hotels: To keep your guests and rooms safe, smoke detectors should be installed and checked regularly.
Do you need help fitting the right smoke detectors for your hotel? Visit National Hospitality Supply for a wide array of smoke detectors to suit your property and needs.