With today’s focus on the guest experience, you want your guests to have a pleasant and safe stay at your property. However, providing a worry-free vacation and a safe environment for your staff presents its own set of security challenges.
Security on a property is one of the many issues resort, and hotel managers have to deal with. While many believe that security problems only affect lower-tier hotels, this couldn’t be further from the reality. Moreover, some hotels and resorts believe security and customer services are at odds. However, you can do both well with the right tools and practices.
Petty thievery, undesirable individuals and boisterous guests getting into mischief will occur at even the most high-end properties. However, suppose you want to increase the safety and security of your hotel and resort without alarming your visitors or investing in ineffective solutions. In that case, these steps from hospitality writer Anne Davis and suggestions from Real-Time Networks can provide you with peace of mind.
Kindness Is Important
Surprisingly, spreading some human compassion is one of the most effective methods you can help us to strengthen the security at your hotel.
This has two effects. First, employee theft is one of many owners and managers’ most serious security concerns. It’s all too easy for a frustrated employee to steal items that aren’t theirs or to lie about their working hours during a shift. You can lessen the probability of your employees stealing from you and your property by treating them with respect and compassion.
This applies to how you treat your guests as well. It’s no secret that giving customers an unforgettable experience is key to ensuring they return. This same customer service also allows your personnel to keep track of your hotel visitors during their stay. It not only sends the impression that “we’re aware of you and your actions” but also allows staff to spot any unusual behaviours that could indicate that someone is up to no good.
Defending Access Points
Your hotel or resort contains designated guest areas as well as spaces that should be kept private, such as:
- Supply closets
- Employee break rooms
- Other visitors’ units
You don’t want a curious visitor probing about where they don’t belong, gaining access to valuable equipment and inventory.
Instead, discover strategies to limit their access in a gentle but firm manner. For example, these access control solutions could include impassable corridors behind keypad locks and clearly state that visitors cannot enter these secure areas.
Ensure there is a clear line of sight from staff locations to each main entrance. Check that entrances are well lit and labelled, so guests know where they are.
Does your resort or hotel have carts or vehicles? What happens to them and their keys when not in use? Consider using tracking software so that you always know where they are.
Other security ideas include:
- Set up an inventory of all the locks at your property
- Track any spare guest keys and know how many spares you use
- Keep staff access doors out of sight as much as possible
- Set up a system to track and audit all key usage and consider a key management system
- Check that all room and apartment safes are working correctly for guests
You have every right to know who is staying at your property. One way to do so is to be cautious during the check-in and registration.
Guests should be willing to supply their licence plate numbers and date of birth when reserving their stay. Train your personnel to ask for at least two forms of identification upon arrival to ensure that they match what they gave when they booked their stay.
They should also respectfully inquire about the number of individuals staying with them, reducing the chances of other people trying to sneak into a unit that isn’t theirs.
Video surveillance is beneficial but only as good as the footage you playback. Ensure you have a documented retention policy for all footage, and clear procedures staff can follow. Check your cameras regularly to make sure they are recording and filming, so there are no blindspots.
Appearances Have Value
While we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, it is human nature. This is also true for your property. Failing to follow appearance expectations can be highly damaging to your business.
The “broken window” notion holds here. If your grass is neglected or spray paint tagging on your walls, you may attract more trouble from dishonest people.
Furthermore, bright lighting in parking lots and entryways can go a long way toward preventing criminal conduct, which commonly occurs in the dark. Remove trees or bushes that can obstruct sightlines from building entrances.
Pay for Security Guards
Security guards can be an excellent way to keep your property safe and secure, free of theft, crime, and general disorder. The simple act of stationing a uniformed party at the entryway can deter would-be criminals. In addition, they’ll know that someone will be ready to intervene if they try to make trouble.
Regularly review how you want them to manage situations such as:
- Handling unattended vehicles
- Responding to trespassers
- Handling suspicious packages
- Using force
It’s also worth noting that security personnel will not startle or frighten your visitors. Instead, it will provide them with the peace of mind that they will be safe during their stay, allowing them to relax and enjoy their time on your property.
Protect your staff
Many US states require hotels and resorts have duress alert buttons for service staff. If you don’t yet have one, it might be time to investigate a system. If you do, regularly check it is working.
Cash collections should happen on a varied schedule that is hard for thieves to follow. Ensure that all cash counting is performed in a locked space away from guests for additional security.
Plan for evacuation and emergency
Make sure that your Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is documented and reflects any changes to your operation. OSHA requires an EAP for all businesses with more than ten staff members. You can find out more on their app.
If you don’t need an EAP yet, build a summary of your evacuation plans into your safety and security checklist. In addition, check that your alarm testing and fire equipment is tested annually. For larger properties, you might want to consider an automated mustering system.
Regularly audit guest units to make sure that they can contact emergency services. This can be an issue with specific carriers and PBX systems. You will also need to have a policy for staff to contact emergency services if phone lines are down.
Even if it’s in a low-crime area, keeping your property secure may be challenging. Issues can emerge due to various circumstances, and it’s natural to want to do everything you can to avoid them.
While additional training, security people, and even heavy-duty locks may have a one-time setup cost, it will be well worth it once you see how effective they are in protecting your property. As a result, you can focus on the things that matter to you, such as ensuring that your visitors have a great time and want to return in the future!
Anne Davis – Ehotelier
Pay Palter- Real-Time Networks