Hotel owners and managers are responsible for providing guests with a safe and secure premises during their stay. Lodging magazine encourages hotel owners to implement 5 safety precautions to protect guests during their stay:
1. Update locks. Locks that can track who goes in and out of rooms can serve as a deterrent to theft. “When employees realize there’s an audit process on door security, it makes rooms less prone to theft,” Callaghan says. Other upgrades include automatic deadbolts, which can better prevent external threats from thieves, or systems that eliminate the need for master keys.
2. Make time for safety meetings. Perhaps as part of a regular meeting, schedule time to talk about guest safety. Part of this time could also be spent watching training videos, such as those produced by Safety Source Productions. These videos, accompanied by handouts, are a low-cost way to share information about guest safety and can train employees about how to spot suspicious behavior.
3. Monitor activity with software. Having closed-circuit television to monitor the property doesn’t matter too much if no one is looking at the monitors. Recent innovations in software have solved that problem. Coupled with software, video cameras can now recognize activity in an area and provide an alert. One example: the system can alert when there is activity in a valet parking area. Other options include using a third party to monitor the exterior of the hotel. Some of these systems have voice command capability, where operators can see and warn off people captured on surveillance.
4. Evaluate and improve—quickly. Darrell Clifton, director of security for the 1,572-room Circus Circus Reno Hotel and Casino in Nevada, conducts weekly reviews of the property and even has checklists for staff to ensure areas, such as stairwells, are clean, safe, and well lit. “We concentrate on our liability,” Clifton says. “If we know of something that’s happened, if someone was robbed or there was an accident, that area is quickly addressed. We can’t ignore it. We do something immediately to protect from another event happening.”
5. Meet and greet. One of simplest, but most effective, ways of securing a property is to provide excellent customer service. “Engage customers you encounter,” Clifton says. “Ask them about their stay and if there’s anything you can do to help. You don’t have to throw more labor at security. Just make employees a little smarter.” By talking with people on your property, staff can determine if there’s a non-guest who may intend to commit a crime. Employees should also look out for people who don’t fit the profile of the hotel’s typical guest.
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