Safety and security at hotels is one of the most important things for ensuring a good experience for guests and visitors. Every level of hospitality ranging from high-end boutique hotels to your run of the mill motel constantly work towards a safe environment for everyone. Though safety and security takes a never ending effort, here are the top concerns for hotels:
As all things go, it’s better to be prepared than not for every situation. Just because safety emergencies are unpredictable it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for them! For fire/life/safety emergencies, proper training and protocols set in place can mean the difference between life and death.
Fire is an emergency that can grow increasingly dangerous by the second. Having measures set in place ensures the safety of individuals and minimize potential damage to the building or infrastructure. While checking fire emergency protocol, first ask yourself a few questions. Can firetrucks easily access the property and all sides of the building? Who is authorized to take control and take action in a fire emergency? Is there anyone who unlocks the gates and other points of access for emergency crews? Who has the keys and who is knowledgeable of access codes? Are the fire alarms functional? If you’re unsure, you can contact your local fire department to check every fire alarm to make sure they’re working. Additionally, are exit routes and signs clearly displayed? If a fire breaks out, are exit routes clearly displayed? Everything combined can mean the difference in the way a fire emergency is handled. Making sure your staff and your building are properly equipped to handle these situations are highly important to safety.
Similar to a fire emergencies, there are instances where emergency personnel need to quickly access certain areas of the building without pause. Each second can be crucial in the safety of an individual should they have a medical emergency. You have to again ask yourself, can emergency vehicles easily access the property of the side of the building where an emergency is taking place? Is there a person in charge who can grant entry to emergency personnel and are they equipped to do so? Everything ties back to proper training and having protocols in place. To mitigate this issue, have an emergency procedure manual that’s accessible and easy to read. Readiness and preparedness are key factors here – train as if your life depended on it.
An unauthorized visitor or trespasser is someone who the hotel doesn’t permit to remain on its premises. This can include those who aren’t guests of the hotel and guests who lost the privilege of remaining on-site. A welcomed guest becomes a trespasser as the hotel sees fit for the following reasons:
- Refusal to pay a bill
- Become obnoxious or threatening to other guests and staff members
- Becoming a person of general bad reputation
- Behaving in a disorderly manner
- Other forms of misconduct
Unauthorized visitors may pose a threat to others as it’s difficult to take into account who’s entering and leaving the property. Although there may be a person present who actually booked the room themselves, inviting additional guests to the room is often no permitted. For example, hotel parties may disturb other guests and leads to an high risk of property damage.
Unfortunately, tales of an unwanted guest breaking into a hotel room and stealing personal possessions aren’t unheard of. We may hear stories of those who travel return to their hotel rooms to realize that their valuables. A few things hotel managers can do to minimize theft on their properties is to ensure all locking systems work. Installing a door lock where guests need a key or access card to enter is the most straightforward solution. Inside, guests should have access to a safe, or a secure location to store their valuables. Limit the amount of hotel staff members who have access to each room. It’s well known that surveillance cameras help deter crime and theft. Make sure that your camera systems are placed in key areas to eliminate blind spots.
Sometimes theft happens from your own team. Subsequently, It’s a good idea to conduct thorough background screenings upon hiring each staff member. Having procedures set in place and thorough training can minimize the risk of theft happening. Protocols such as only a select few staff members having access to guest rooms or belongings can help mitigate this.
As always, train like your life depends on it. Regular training and retraining of staff is akin to a well-oiled machine. Having safety procedure and protocols written out in manuals can serve as a quick pick-me-up for staff members. Make sure they are available, easy to read, and ready to use under any circumstance.