6 Security Tips Every Hotel Manager Needs To Think About
Hotel security should be a top priority for every hotel and hospitality service. Ensuring guests’ safety – and that of the staff – is paramount, and making them feel secure and comfortable goes a long way in giving a prime customer service experience. It also helps protect against any potential liability conflicts that may arise with guests on the property.
1. Start With A CCTV Surveillance System
The first step to securing hotel premises is video surveillance. A comprehensive CCTV camera system placed throughout halls and entrances will protect against theft and break-ins. Properly placed, a surveillance system can also help protect against employee theft – ensuring the security of both hotel property and guests’ belongings. Place them in employee locations, such as the kitchen, laundry room and store room.
Other locations where security cameras are important include the swimming pool and hotel gym, where traffic is heavy and theft may occur. You can also place them in elevators and stairwells.
For additional hotel security and accountability measures, be sure to integrate a proper NVR or DVR into your security system. Many of these systems now allow features such as remote viewing and playback, so you can access your security feed from anywhere with an internet connection – at any time.
Security cameras are also vital in protecting against liability issues and lawsuits. Hotels can often be held liable for injuries and incidents that occur on the property and having a record of everything that happens is extremely useful should anything happen.
2. How Long Do You Need to Store Surveillance Footage?
How much surveillance footage you choose to store is dependent on the business’s individual needs, but most hotel security systems will store video archives for at least 30 days. 60 or 90 days is often standard and provides a lengthy record of everything that occurred on hotel grounds.
If your hotel has a casino, however, you may need to follow additional measures; many localities and gaming regulations mandate keeping surveillance footage of casino grounds for at least 6 months to a year.
3. Maintaining Privacy With Security Cameras
One risk of placing security cameras in hotels, however, is privacy. They must only be placed in public locations and should be prominent enough to make them feel secure – but not so prominent as to appear threatening or invasive. Be sure to be follow any rules and laws regarding privacy and placement of security cameras in hotels; it is, obviously, illegal to place security cameras in hotel rooms.
4. Modern Access Control Systems for Hotels
Hotel key cards are a form of access control, and employing them throughout hotel premises helps guarantee that only guests and employees can access the hotel. They can also ensure that guests can only get into the parts of the hotel for which they have permission. Mainly, their room, the gym and pool, for example. This increases the building’s overall security, and ensures guests feel safe throughout their entire stay.
For employee-only areas, you can make use of even heavier-duty access control systems – not just the typical plastic key cards.
5. Are Mobile Rooms Keys Safe to Use?
Almost everybody carries a smart phone these days, so it makes sense that many hotels are allowing guests to use their smartphones as room keys – using either FRID or Bluetooth Low-Energy technology paired with a mobile app. This works in essentially the same manner as other mobile access control systems, but there are also hotel-specific keyless access software and systems out there, such as OpenKey.
Are these systems safe, compared to traditional key cards?
Like all mobile systems, there is some potential for hacking mobile key card systems. But the majority of key card systems are encrypted, like most other security systems, and with proper setup and security precautions should be perfectly safe to use – and not necessarily any less safe than traditional plastic key cards. Many guests are starting to prefer them, but if your guests prefer to stick with traditional key cards, they’re still always an option.
Upgrading your doors for use with mobile access control also may not necessarily require changing all the locks and doors in the hotel. You may be able to retrofit your current locks to work with mobile access systems.
6. Additional Steps For Hotel Security
Keeping your guests safe involves more than security systems and key cards. It also necessitates implementing procedures for keeping things running smoothly and safely, such as keeping hallways and stairwells clean and clear, and ensuring doors are not blocked. Many hotels institute checklists and systems for cleaning hotel grounds and periodically checking safety equipment, such as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers – in addition to regular maintenance and checking of security and surveillance systems.
Keeping these tips and procedures in mind should help ensure a safe and welcoming experience for all hotel guests.