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Locked in!


I keep reading that in many alberques you cant leave in the morning before a certain time as the doors are locked. This has made me question fire safety and fire risks...a bit dramatic I know but we had a terrible fire in one of our popular backpacker hostels in Australia some years ago. If you cant get out the door what do you do? I may have watched too many fire protection training videos in my work but.......!!

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Hi Jo,
I think it is mainly that the doors are locked so you can't get in if you arrive back after 10pm. I am pretty sure that you could still let yourself out from inside.
The one exception to this is that I can remember was that in Pamplona at Jesus Y Maria the front door really was locked and not open-able from inside until the hospitalero opened it. However, it was a very modern building, so I imagine there was some other fire exit, though it wasn't obvious.
Actually there WERE places where they locked us in and it frightened me. But the one place I remember had changed this year so you could open the door from the inside. YOu can always jump out the windows too in an emergency :)

But yeah, the fire safety laws are different than here in the USA... if you're really concerned, you will want to check before staying in a place to make sure you have a clear exit in case of emergency.
I usually left early and never found that I could not get out. There usually are windows downstairs one could climb out of. I never really thought about the fire thing except for Manjarin, where I slept on an upper wooden platform in a barn, accessed by a wooden steep ladder, foam mattresses and a young guy out of it on whatever climbed up to the platform lighting his way with a cigarette lighter, it did freak me out and I quickly got my torch. That was pretty potentially scary. Gitti
When walking to Fisterra in 2008 we were locked into the Hotel Tamara in Negreira and couldn't leave until after 7am. I was for charging through the fire doors and to hell with the alarms..... but more reasoned voices prevailed so we sat there all dressed up with nowhere to go until some staff member let us out.
On the Frances last year always able to open doors from the inside.
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Hi Jo

A lot of the places I have stayed at in Spain have not had a separate fire exit, as you would find here in Australia. This used to really freak out my travelling companion of last year [I am a bit more fatalistic]. He was pleased to find that the monastary in Sebrado had a second exit that led to a lawn area away from the main building. This made him feel much safer.

When I checked it in the morning I found that it had been padlocked during the night. I thought it kinder not to tell him.

buen camino


Be brave. Life is joyous.
Yes there are plenty of places where you are locked in. The main albergue in Logrono I remember in particular a crowd of people trying every exit to get out in the morning! :cry: I have seen people climb in and out the windows in some places.
I guess if you are worried about it then plan your escape route in advance, there is almost always a window you could jump from or you could try asking the hospitaleros what the fire escape plan is... ?
If you're unhappy then stay somewhere else. I hated being locked in, not for fire reasons in particular, it just made me very uncomfortable generally... I hope we won't have to wait until there is some awful fire disaster for this issue to be addressed in spain...
LOL :lol: I am cracking up here!! How hilarious..thanks guys....great consolation! The windows seem to be the best option...will make sure the nearest one aint locked! Ha Ha!!

In Monesterio VDLP, when checking in at Hostal Moya, I was told by the owner that I would be locked in until 8 o'clock next morning.

No thanks! I turned around and went somewhere else.

Absolutely unacceptable to be locked in no matter where.


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