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BBC's Holiday Hit Squad Exposes Serious Safety Failings at Hotels Abroad

On last night's episode of "Holiday Hit Squad" on BBC One, serious failings in the standards of safety in hotels abroad were brought to light. Some of the toughest hotel inspectors in the business visited two hotels, the Hotel da Aldeia in Albuferia, Portgual and the Neon Hotel in Malia, Crete; and the results were shocking!

Holiday Accident Claims

The 3 star Hotel da Aldeia in the Algarve was visited by health and safety expert Lisa Ackerley and presenter Joe Crowley who explored the hotel and took note of all worrying lapses in safety to holidaymakers.

One of the first alarming issues that were brought to the attention of Joe and Lisa were the balconies of the guest rooms. The wooden balcony railings were rotting and splinters and nails were protruding. The railings were found to be only 90cm high, when by law they should be at least 1m. The gaps in between the railings were also found to be 14cm wide, when they should in fact be no more than 10cm. Lisa commented "This is absolutely shocking to be honest". With hotel balconies potentially being this dangerous in most hotels abroad, it is no surprise that 13 people fell from balconies in 2012.

Other safety issues that were spotted in the guest rooms were sharp glass edges on the coffee table, the rugs curling creating a tripping hazard, open wires and plug sockets sparking. More worryingly, the fire exit information on the back of the guest room door took guests a long route to the fire escape, avoiding one that was much closer. Joe Crowley said that the Hotel da Aldeia "was an accident waiting to happen".

If you have booked a package holiday with a tour operator and you notice severe failings in safety, always tell your holiday rep, who can rectify any problems and either move you to another room, or to another hotel altogether. Ensure that the holiday rep also makes a note of these failings, so that if you decide to complain when you get home, the tour operator has a record of your complaints.

The second hotel that was visited was the Neon Hotel in Malia, Crete. This 2 star hotel also had some worrying failures with safety. On exploring the hotel, it was found that none of the guest bedrooms had smoke alarms, which is a serious issue if there was to be a fire. Another issue was the huge gap between the stair cases, with no protective railing in place. This could cause a serious accident for a small child who could slip and fall through.

Other failings included open tangled wires and plugs in reach of children in the lobby reception area. This is also a hazard especially to children who harmlessly explore new surroundings.

A lot of these problems with hotel safety occur in a lot of hotels abroad, and you may not realise it at the time, but they could cause serious accidents. The "Hotel Hit Squad" are ensuring that holidaymakers can become aware of what to look out for on their next holidays, so you can remain safe abroad.

If an accident was to occur whilst on holiday, and it was in fact the hotel that caused the accident, remember to take photographic evidence of the root cause. It is possible to claim compensation if you were booked on a package holiday and if you suffer as a result, as it is the UK tour operator's responsibility to ensure that you are safe, thanks to the Package Travel Regulations 1992.

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Dated: 07/02/2013

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