It goes without saying that a hotel’s top responsibility towards any who enter its premises is to guarantee a safe and secure environment. However, despite increased industry focus, crimes taking place within hotels are still a recurring issue that places the safety of guests and employees at risk.
From theft and assault to human trafficking and even murder, hoteliers can easily find themselves having to deal with the fallout of crimes carried out at their property, ruining not only reputations but also opening up the potential to increased liability.
Yet with a combination of newer technologies and effective procedures, today’s hotels can finally begin to become more proactive in preventing threats from arising that would otherwise place their guests and staff in harm’s way. Listed below are the key security-enhancing strategies that, regardless of hotel type or size, should be front and center in the effort to make hotel businesses safe and enjoyable for all.
Knowledge is Power- Especially When to Comes to Combatting Safety Threats
As with virtually any facet of a property’s operation, employee eyes and ears are often the best resource for knowing precisely what is occurring within a hotel at any given time. This is especially true in regards to the swift identification of any suspect behavior that represents a threat. However, recognizing a potential crime and knowing the best steps to take is often easier said than done. Mistakes can be made and important indicators are overlooked. Innocent guests can also be erroneously suspected of illegal activity, placing hoteliers in an unenviable position of having to make amends.
To circumvent such risks and ensure that staff know when and how to react, a hotel should always make time for regularly held safety meetings. These can offer a low cost method of providing employees with refreshers on the telltale signs that a crime is taking place and that a person’s safety is in jeopardy. Hoteliers can leverage the existence of various training video options to keep their employees continuously informed and able to respond appropriately should an incident occur.
With human trafficking unfortunately becoming increasingly prevalent at hotels, it has rightly risen to be regarded as one of the most serious threats to safety. Yet many hotels still do not have training measures in place to combat this form of modern slavery. From visits to a guestroom by multiple individuals to guests not in possession of their own ID, effectively training staff to recognize the warning signs of human trafficking can make all the difference in saving a person’s life and preventing a hotel from being held potentially accountable. In fact, research indicates that 44 percent of adequately trained employees were able to identify 1 to 5 cases of trafficking compared to just 8 percent who received no such training.
Keeping a Constant Watchful Eye by Leveraging Technology
As important as employee education is to maintaining a proactively safe hotel environment, staff members cannot realistically be expected to respond to all events that may take place across a property by themselves. Fortunately, newer technologies are now providing employees with a vital opportunity to gain much-needed support in recognizing and swiftly addressing any potential threat.
For example, while CCTV cameras have been in use by hotels for decades, being able to observe and react to a threat typically would depend on if someone was actively monitoring video feeds, leaving considerable room for an issue to slip by unnoticed. More recent advances in CCTV technology can now circumvent this risk by providing staff with alerts to suspicious activity. Such platforms can also be used to alert staff to any movement in restricted areas and can even offer voice command capabilities in order to warn offenders that their actions are being recorded.
With property-wide safety frequently coming down to who can gain access to onsite areas, critical to hotel efforts in eliminating safety threats is the presence of an advanced access control system. Traditional keys are perhaps one of the biggest vulnerabilities as they can easily be stolen and later used by malicious individuals, in order to return and gain entry. Yet by utilizing a combination of RFID-based door locks and innovative access management technology, hoteliers can sidestep this potential risk entirely by automatically deactivating keys the moment a guest’s stay ends. Property staff can also receive alerts for when a key is suspected of being used for illegitimate purposes, such as a key being used on multiple doors in an attempt to gain room access. Further boosting hotel security efforts is the ability to use such systems to not only control access to guestrooms, but to hotel entrances, elevators and other public areas. This added layer of protection prevents anyone from being able to wander in and out of hotel areas in an attempt to identify an opportunity to commit a crime, while still ensuring that legitimate visitors can seamlessly traverse a hotel using just one keycard.
Providing Your Hotel Staff With the Peace-of-Mind They Deserve
In recent years, hotel employee safety has become a hot button issue throughout the industry as a result of the growing number of physical attacks experienced by staff. Yet here as well, hoteliers can make use of new technology to keep a watch over employee wellbeing and swiftly respond to any dangers that come their way.
By equipping each employee with their own personal staff safety device, hoteliers can provide staff members with an instant and always available direct line to the help they need. Should an employee feel threatened, a simple push of a button automatically transmits an alert to the appropriate personnel. With a more advanced platform, the alert is also accompanied with exact real-time details on where an employee is located, ensuring swift arrival times and minimizing the possibility of an employee being harmed. As more regions enact hotel employee safety legislation, the ability to instantly locate an endangered employee’s location is frequently listed as a requirement for compliance and should therefore be top of mind for hoteliers in their search for an effective solution.
Work With all Available Resources at Your Disposal for Constant High-Level Security
Deciding on which security measures to implement to ensure a safe hotel environment for all is certainly not a task that should be taken lightly. From protecting a hotel’s reputation and retaining both guests and staff to avoiding the potential for prosecution, the risks are far too great. Hoteliers should therefore always seek out the guidance of their security providers, in order to identify opportunities to bolster their security efforts. Such providers can offer invaluable advice on industry best practices, potential technology integrations that can further streamline security monitoring efforts and more.