Sweden orders fire alarms in hotel made of ice

If a reindeer-skin blanket should burst into flames at Sweden's famous Ice Hotel, guests can count on regulation fire alarms in addition to the built-in sprinkler system that would certainly kick in.

The hotel is built from scratch every year from snow and giant blocks of ice in the small arctic town of Jukkasjarvi. But this year, installation included fire alarms.

Sweden’s National Housing Board couldn't have missed the irony when it ordered the luxury igloo to install alarms in the water-based structure to ensure the safety of guests.

"We were a little surprised when we found out," hotel spokeswoman Beatrice Karlsson told Swedish newspaper The Local. "But we do understand. Safety is a primary concern for us. There are indeed things that can catch fire, like the reindeer skins, the mattresses, and the pillows," Karlsson said.

Cold-loving tourists come from all over the world to sleep in thermal sleeping bags perched on ice beds in temperatures as low as 17 degrees.

Karlsson says the staff isn't concerned about the new changes. "Every hotel is brand new anyway, there is always something new to think about. And this year is no different, we actually have a few surprises in store," she told The Local.

The Ice Hotel has been a popular tourist attraction since it opened in 1990. Cool customers fork over rates ranging from $200 to $500 a night for the opportunity to freeze.

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