Swiss guest activates fire alarm in attempt to get into his hotel

Swiss guest activates fire alarm in attempt to get into his hotel

If you’ve just arrived at a hotel late at night, maybe after a long and bumpy taxi ride from the airport, it’s not unusual to be a little impatient if there’s nobody there to throw a key at you and allow you to collapse into bed. However, one man trying to get into a hotel in Canton Zurich may have gone a little too far in his pursuit of sleep: after he forgot his hotel access code, he decided to pull the fire alarm to attract assistance.

Man triggers fire alarm to get into Effretikon hotel

According to a report published by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), the incident began at 5.54am at a hotel in Effretikon, Canton Zurich on January 29, when a man tried to enter the building. Despite having already checked in, the 42-year-old from Bern had forgotten the entry code to the now locked door and reception was not manned.

Faced with sub-zero weather and no hope of entering the hotel, the man had what was described by the NZZ as a “flash of inspiration”. He theorised that the fire brigade, being a public service, would assist him in entering the building, which would then allow him a few hours of shut-eye before his check-out time later that same morning. So, without another thought, he pulled the fire alarm and waited for his knights in fluorescent armour to arrive.

When the local emergency services did arrive - all of whom were volunteers who had been dragged out of bed - they found no raging inferno, just a very cold hotel guest. The man then demanded the fire brigade grant him access to his hotel room, which they refused to do - although needless to say, the hubbub caused by the siren meant most hotel guests and local residents were sharing in his lack of sleep.

Serious fine issued to hotel guest from Bern

While quite silly, the man now faces some serious legal action as a result of his "bright idea". According to the Swiss Criminal Code, quoted by 20 Minuten, anyone who "against better knowledge and without reason alerts a public or non-profit security service, rescue or emergency service, in particular the police, fire brigade, [or] paramedics" faces fines or even jail time.

Luckily for him, the man admitted that his actions had been unreasonable and a local court has now ordered him to pay fines and legal costs of 1.400 francs. The lesson here being: pulling a red lever isn’t the solution to every problem.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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