Perhaps one of the last things travellers think of when planning a trip is hotel security, but it is not a trivial matter. Most hotels continually review and update their safety and security protocols, and keeping guests safe is always a top priority. Nonetheless, experts recommend that guests remain vigilant, just in case. Taking a few minutes to take some precautions is never a bad idea. Here are some basic tips and best practices that you should become familiar with before your next trip.
PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
1.) Check if there hotel’s front desk is serviced by staff 24 hours. If the premise has strict access – keycard-enabled elevators – such a feature restricts non-guests from loitering.
2.) Avoid a ground floor room if possible. Many experts recommend a room as low as the third floor and as high as the sixth, making break-ins unlikely.
3.) When you are in your room, keep the door locked at all times. This includes deadbolts, security chains, and those newer swinging metal security bars. Don’t leave your door open even if just making a 5-minute trip to your companion’s room.
4.) Always check the door viewer before answering the door. If you did not request for service and someone at the front door claims they are staff, call the front desk before to verify if an employee has been sent to your room.
5.) Keep your valuables and important document e.g. passports in the room safe instead of out in the open or in one of the dresser drawers.
6.) If you invite someone back to your room whom you are not so familiar with, ensure that you put away your valuables in the safe.
WHEN LEAVING THE ROOM
7.) Make the room appear to be occupied by leaving the television or radio on. Put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to reduce attempts made by intruders.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry trade group, has several additional suggestions including:
8.) If you lose your room key, have the hotel disable the first one when making a replacement.
9.) Make sure any sliding glass doors and windows are locked and fully secured.
10.) Always locate the nearest emergency exit and staircase upon arrival at a hotel.