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June 28, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Hotel room warning

WhyBrooks Protzmann points out this sticker, on the ceiling of his San Francisco hotel bathroom. He writes, "My question is, has this happened often? If so, I STILL could not find a hook anywhere in the bathroom."


better safe than sorry.

Posted by: Dragon at June 28, 2005 12:33 AM

this is not broken. it is just funny. there could be a million good reasons why they put that sticker there, and flooding problems is probably one of them.

Posted by: blah at June 28, 2005 06:48 AM

But the fact that there's no *other* hook in the bathroom? That's *definitely* broken.

Posted by: stoo at June 28, 2005 07:45 AM

It's both broken and not broken.

Broken: no other hooks means someone, at some point in time, may hang a shirt or coat from the sprinkler while using the bathroom.

Not broken: since it is quite possible that someone might do the above, with bad consequences, the sticker is a necessity.

Stupid: I have to think a few hooks or hangers would do a better job than this sticker.

Posted by: Michael McWatters at June 28, 2005 08:46 AM

Funny, I just noticed this last night for the first time in my hotel. I guess it's an epidemic.

Posted by: Brooke at June 28, 2005 09:17 AM

The usability of a bathroom is seriously impaired by the lack of hooks. It's clear that hooks are needed as people have been using the fire sprinkler head as a hook. Placing a sticker to stop people from using the sprinkler as a hook solves the problem in wrong way. It fails to address the root cause of the problem, and it fails to improve the customer experience. Hooks in bulk are not very expensive, so I wonder at the cost of using warning stickers instead of actually providing hooks.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at June 28, 2005 09:46 AM

This is only broken if there are no other hooks, and if there aren't it's just the hotels being cheap/lazy. (cheap/lazy should be broken, but it's so common...)

Posted by: Bob at June 28, 2005 12:49 PM

There was an incident during a convention at a hotel in Maryland (Disclave, 1997) in which a NYC cop - unafffiliated with the convention - decided to tie his girlfriend to a sprinkler like the one above (for naughty play, I imagine). It broke, and did a significant amount of damage to the hotel. I imagine incidents like this one are what lead to stickers like that one. Although a "don't tie your girlfriend to the sprinkler!" sticker would be far funnier.

Posted by: tafkar at June 28, 2005 02:03 PM

Well, i could see a reason for keeping hooks out of the bathroom, personally, there are no hooks in my bathroom at home either, just the towel bars and the shower bar, what is it that you need to hang in the bathroom anyways?

Having hooks, in the small enclosed bathrooms that most hotels usually have could cause serious injuries to anyone who may slip and/or fall over, catching a part of their body on the things on the way down.

Posted by: Dragon at June 28, 2005 03:11 PM

Well, i could see a reason for keeping hooks out of the bathroom, personally, there are no hooks in my bathroom at home either, just the towel bars and the shower bar, what is it that you need to hang in the bathroom anyways?

Having hooks, in the small enclosed bathrooms that most hotels usually have could cause serious injuries to anyone who may slip and/or fall over, catching a part of their body on the things on the way down.

Posted by: Dragon at June 28, 2005 03:13 PM

Dragon: a well reasoned argument you have there. Certainly a rounded plastic hook would be lethal. Nearly as dangerous as that pesky handle that flushes the toilet. What I want to know is why no one has safeguarded me from the knobs in the shower. They stick out right where I could fall and crack my head on them: and it's so darned slippery in there.

Posted by: Conant at June 28, 2005 03:57 PM

Dragon, I hope you're kidding when you ask "what is it that you need to hang in the bathroom anyways?" Do you shower with your clothes on or something?

Posted by: E.T. at June 28, 2005 04:52 PM

Come now people. Doesn't everyone put on their suit/uniform when they wake up and then jump in the shower? That's like brushing your teeth and then drinking a big glass of soda.

Catch a part of my body on the way down? Where is this hook - by the baseboard? I don't know about anyone else, but I prefer my hooks about eye level so my clothes don't drag on the floor. So unless I plan on falling into the wall and poking my eye out, I think I am pretty safe.

Posted by: Chaos at June 28, 2005 04:59 PM

Ah, I wondered if someone would've already posted the Disclave story.

When I was in college, a girl hung a dress from one of these and flooded the dorm, so it definitely doen't require the weight of a body, either.

I don't shower in my clothes -- but I usually dress outside the bathroom, except on the rare occasions I'm sharing a hotel room with someone I'm not comfortable being nude in front of.

Posted by: Nolly at June 28, 2005 08:55 PM

What would you be hanging in the bathroom? Uh ... *hotel* bathroom -> traveling -> suitcase -> wrinkled clothes striking any bells? Have none of you tried to steam the wrinkles out of something in your suitcase? This is a pretty common need of travelers.

Posted by: Deb Morrissey at June 28, 2005 11:32 PM

well, as i see it, almost all hotels provide an iron and ironing board, hence removing wrinkles, and the question still stands, who wears their dirty clothes, then hangs them to put them back on after taking a shower.. excuse me, the shower is for a reason, to not be dirty?

Posted by: Dragon at June 29, 2005 12:05 AM

In the hotels that I'm accustomed to their are two sections to the bathroom the bath(shower) and toilet area, and the dressing area. I'm assuming the post is referring to no hooks being in the dressing area. The space in the shower area is usually not room enough to change comfortably No hooks in the dressing area is ridiculous as far as causing injury I don't want to say that its impossible but come on they come off the wall about 1.5 inches and bend up 2 to 3 inches with no sharp edges. One must be really bright to injure oneself on one of these cause I can't figure out how to do it.

Posted by: Kent at June 29, 2005 03:02 AM

I was working at a hotel when a group of Brazilian soccer / football players were in town then hung there jerseys there to dry after washing them in the tub.

We had to evacuate the lower level of the hotel when the water came rushing out of there room like a flood.

Posted by: Brian at June 29, 2005 08:48 AM

Dragon, are you dense? No one hangs their dirty clothes on the hook. Clean clothes!

Everyone likes to hang on the hook what they're are putting on after their shower. Regardless of who I am with in my hotel or when I am in my house, if I don't dress in the bathroom, I like to hang my towel and bathrobe on the hook. And who wants to take 20 minutes out of their very busy morning to iron? When I travel, my suits are hung in a garment bag. The last thing I want to do when I get to my hotel is throw them somewhere were they will get wrinkled so i have to get up 20 minutes earlier to iron.

Posted by: Chaos at June 29, 2005 09:02 AM

There's another danger with putting clothes hangers on the sprinkler. See the red part? That's wax. It's designed to melt when a fire is nearby, and when it melts, water flows out. A wire coat hanger stuck up there could puncture or knock the wax bit off, causing water to start flowing out.

Posted by: Jacques Troux at June 29, 2005 10:18 AM


What is the first reason then? I assumed that was the only reason for the sign.

Posted by: Sean P at June 29, 2005 10:43 AM

It's interesting that people are debating whether a hook in a hotel bathroom is really needed and basing it on their own habits.


It doesn't matter if you, personally, don't hang anything up in the bathroom of a hotel. It's quite evident that a significant enough portion of the population do need hooks in the bathroom. In fact, it's a strong enough need that in lieu of a real hook, people will use a fire sprinkler head.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at June 29, 2005 11:49 AM

My former father-in-law worked security at a Vegas hotel where he said that there were several incidents where someone tried to hang clothes on a hanger from the sprinkler, triggered it, and water sprayed everywhere.

Note that the fire sprinkler pipes are always full of water, and that water may sit there for years. The water that comes out at first tends to be pretty foul (not like the movies where it's clean water), and ruins everything in the room.

Posted by: avallach at June 29, 2005 12:34 PM

Oh that's disgusting. I didn't even think of that aspect of the sprinkler turning on.

Posted by: Chaos at June 29, 2005 01:32 PM

Yeah i used to work in a grocery store and they had to do Frequent tests of the sprinkler system where they drained the sprinkler system until the fire alarm went off... the water was pretty foul smelling. I think there is possibly something else in the lines other then water too..Kinda had an ammonia smell if i remember correctly

Posted by: Infinity at June 29, 2005 11:36 PM

Most city water is slightly chlorinated, and water which sits around without any way to aerate (like in a sprinkler pipe) would probably tend to accumulate more of a chlorine stench.

Posted by: fluffy at June 30, 2005 01:54 PM

The primairy purpose of the chlorine is to kill bacteria in the water, however it kills the bacteria by being absorbed by it. I would think stagnant water would smell less of chlorine than of alge because after a few years wouldn't the chlorine in the water in the pipes get used up?

Anyways that's only my opinion, if anybody knows diffrent please say so.

Posted by: Sean P at June 30, 2005 05:18 PM

I surprised no one has mentioned the scene from Very Bad Things...

Now there's an argument against hooks in bathtooms if I've ever heard it.

Posted by: Patrick at July 3, 2005 11:45 AM

Why on earth would anyone want anything as tediously proletarian as a hook in the bathing area? I used to own a hook. It was indirectly responsible for the unfortunate early demise of my Great Dane Wolfgang, so I may be biased concerning hooks. But seriously, if I'd like a towel when bathing, I'll ring the goddamn butler, who'll also iron and starch my shirts so they will have just the right temperature and crispness as he dresses me.

If I care to be naughty, I'll have Eugenie spank me with a riding crop or douse me in foul smelling liquid should I so care. How anyone could come across the ludicrous idea of tying her to the fire system if there's a perfectly robust system of pulleys and dollyknots installed on the ceiling of the rumpus room is beyond me as well.

So Dragon, I wholeheartedly agree with your point: hooks are an eyesore, and as to your question about wearing dirty cloth: I personally don't like the idea of wearing any clothing more than once. While I realise not everyone can afford to have new suits tailored daily, I can't imaging why anyone would want to wear undergarments a second time even after they have been washed!

Posted by: a2800276 at July 4, 2005 04:56 AM

I've seen such wall-mounted sprinklers in the main room and hallways in one hotel - with the same sticker of course. Really poor design - you do feel like hanging things from it.

I can't imagine it's all that good in fire prevention either. Wouldn't this just spray water flush to the wall? Looks like you'd have a few square feet of space drenched, and zero coverage elsewhere.

Ceiling-mounted sprinklers are not mistaken for hooks and cover more real estate. Perhaps they're more complicated or expensive to install - I've only seen this wall-mounted jobs at hotels I suspect were thrown together last moment and/or on the cheap, since there were other peculiar bits in them.

Posted by: Michael Jones at July 5, 2005 11:06 AM

Reread the post, this is a ceiling mounted sprinkler.

By the way, wall mounted sprinklers usually have a slightly diffrent design that projects the water into the room. The metal disk on the end should be a half circle on a wall mounted sprinkler.

Posted by: Sean P at July 5, 2005 07:52 PM

All such stickers I've seen have looked exactly the same, or nearly so--I'm starting to think the manufacturer includes them with the installation kit.

Posted by: Adam at July 9, 2005 02:11 PM

Oh, woohoo. What we need in a burning building is more exploding glass.

Posted by: Bob at July 9, 2005 11:35 PM

this is not broken at all.

a friend of mine was paying 1200$ a nite in a hotel suite, and hung a jacket on the sprinkler. the sprinkler went off, turning on all the sprinklers in that wing of the building.

the bill? $500,000

Posted by: cragi at November 23, 2005 07:55 PM

You guys should all read up on sprinkler systems.

The red stuff on the sprinkler is not wax that melts when it gets hot, it's red liquid that expands and causes the glass around it to break, which lets the water come out. If one sprinkler goes off, no other sprinklers will go off unless they are in the vicinity of the fire. Breaking one sprinkler would not "turn on all sprinklers in that wing of the building."

It's sad that people don't have enough common sense to think that hanging something from a sprinkler might be a bad idea. It never would have occurred to me to do that. I hate living in a society where ridiculous warning labels have to be put on everything.

Posted by: liz at April 25, 2006 11:05 AM

Liz, ure right. Its only the sprinklers that get in contact with the fire. so its only one, so i cant be all. its only one that goes. if the fire cover like 4 sprinkler heads, thoese 4 well be the only that go off.

Ive sceen the same warning in a crusie line hotel room. it said it on the ring of the head. " do no hang anything from the sprinklers head."

Posted by: N/A at May 14, 2006 09:42 PM

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