8 Simple Safety Tips For Hotel Managers

Hotel managers have more things to focus on today than ever before.  Perhaps none more important than guest safety and security. Fortunately, advancements in hotel technology are aiding in keeping guests and staff safe while deterring criminals. To help make sure the basics are covered, we’ve pulled together a quick reference list of eight safety tips every hotel manager should know.

1 – Be Hospitable

Friendly employees are the best possible crime prevention at the lowest possible cost. Encourage employees to be friendly and hospitable; greet guests at every occasion, engage guests in conversation on the elevator and at valet.  Doing so will improve guest satisfaction ratings and lower the likelihood of theft or other criminal activity. Anonymity gives criminals confidence that crimes won’t be discovered or linked to them. Engaging staff will make hotel guests feel welcomed and make bad actors nervous. 

2 – Monitor Surroundings

Every hotel should have video cameras to monitor building exteriors, stairwells and other areas not in view of hotel staff.  A surveillance system can help convey a safe environment to guests and deter mischief but is only really useful if it’s monitored or recorded.  Hotels can use video monitoring software to minimize required staff that will send an alert when activity is captured in selected areas. Hoteliers should check local laws regarding what areas in the hotel can be monitored in order to steer clear of privacy violations.

3 – Use Digital Keys

Mobile keys are the safest form of guestroom entry today, protected by layers of security from a guest’s smartphone.  Since a digital key is on the phone, there is no plastic keycard to leave inthe room, get stolen or demagnetize. All major hotel brands will make the move to mobile key in the coming years. Many hotel chains are already upgrading magstripe door locks to accept digital keys using the Universal BLE Upgrade Module from OpenKey.

Hilton, Marriott and Starwood have all established timelines for every branded hotel worldwide to transition to digital keys.  Hotel safety is one of the reasons for the move. Sure, smartphones can be stolen, too, but setting a phone lock and requiring a separate login to access a digital key are security options not possible with traditional plastic keycards.

4 – Secure Hotel Systems

Hotels and other accommodation facilities are entrusted with large amounts of personal information from their guests. While this data is necessary, it comes with the responsibility to protect it and keep it safe while complying with the relevant privacy policies.

Every property should have a hotel system security policy that outlines the proper use of company devices as well as procedures to keep those devices secure. System security doesn’t need to be complicated.  Some simple steps include:

  • Always log off or secure a front desk terminal prior to stepping away
  • Make sure all company mobile devices are password protected
  • Use a VPN to connect hotel systems to the internet

5 – Go Cashless

While some guests still prefer to pay for their stay in cash or traveller’s cheques, most visitors have a credit card on hand as well. Minimizing the amount of cash at the front desk of your property reduces the risk of having it stolen while reducing the tasks assigned to the front desk personnel. Both online and on-site card payments are great alternatives to cash.

6 – Change Passwords

Super simple to do and incredibly effective for hotel safety.  Hotel system passwords should be changed about every 90 days. Same goes for the hotel internet access.  While this may seem tedious to the majority of staff, it only takes one former staff member to use a year-old password to access a hotel system and suddenly everyone understands why passwords shouldn’t last that long.

7 – Update Fire Safety

Most fire safety materials are developed when a hotel is constructed.  Few get updated when changes are made. Restaurants come and go. The fitness center gets moved for the third time.  Guest registration parking gets moved to the back when the front desk is relocated. But the fire safety floor diagrams still show how the hotel looked back in the day.  Remember, the fire department may need to use one of those to identify if any guests are still in the building. Make sure hotel floorplans are up to date and every guestroom has one showing exits that are still there.

8 – Talk About Safety

Hotel safety is everyone’s concern.  It should be on every staff members mind the whole time they’re on the property.  A hotel can be a very fast-paced environment with a lot going on all the time. It’s easy to get caught up in getting things done and miss the occasional clue that something not quite right might be going on.  Hotel managers should address guest and property safety on a routine basis to keep it top-of-mind for staff. Employee newsletters are another good place to serve up safety ideas and reminders to keep staff awake and aware.