The Ice Hotel is a cross between an art installation and a shameless gimmick, a hotel made entirely of ice and snow in the colder parts of Sweden. As you might guess, something like this is an engineering and safety challenge. It also apparently was out of compliance with Swedish building codes.
Why do we say this? Because, in what will no doubt become a meme, the Swedish government has ordered it to install fire alarms. And Icehotel is going along with the request, instead of pointing out the obvious:
Hotel spokeswoman Beatrice Karlsson said the hotel was a little surprised at first, but understood as “there are things that can actually catch fire, like pillows, sleeping bags or reindeer skins. To us the most important concern is the safety of our clients, so we will comply,” she said.
To be fair, it’s only extremely unlikely that the Ice Hotel will catch on fire. You can make it happen if you’ve got enough calcium carbide and a match. And everybody should be held to the same standards, which is what one supposes is the logic behind the Swedish government’s order.
The main problem is that this thing melts, every year, and installing a fire alarm system is something of a challenge. But they’ve apparently already pulled it off, somehow, and may be incorporating it next year. And they’ve already put it to use; apparently the system busted somebody having a cigarette in a closet. You know,
(image courtesy of Magic Foundry on Flickr)
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