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Safety Features When Booking or Staying at a Hotel

March 26, 2008 06:16:46 PM

One of the greatest ways that travellers can rest assured that they are staying in a secure hotel and that there are proper procedures and safety features in place. Regardless of property type, it is important to be sure that your hotel considers your safety to be as important as you do. Here are some information's and sample questions to ask when booking a hotel stay. In case of questions, simply not to be afraid to ask questions and be alert while away from home.

Choosing a Hotel

Guidebooks and Internet sites can provide information about the cleanliness, convenience, and services offered by hotels. They can also provide information about which areas of a city are safe and which are not. When consulting a guidebook, use one with a recent edition date to be sure the information is current and accurate. If using a website, check to see when the site was last updated. Always make reservations ahead of time and guarantee them with a credit card to avoid the inconvenience of having to find a hotel in an unfamiliar city.

Take Control

Don't be afraid to ask questions when booking or staying at a hotel.

  • Does the hotel employ dedicated 24-hour security personnel?
  • Does the hotel require proof of identification of all guests?
  • Is access to guest room floors restricted to resident guests with valid electronic key cards only?
  • Does the hotel perform pre-hire background checks on employees?
  • How many incidents of burglary and other crimes are there each year at the hotel?
  • Has your hotel been reviewed by an independent third party individual for security and safety features?
  • Does each guestroom door have a view port (one way peep-hole.)?
  • Does the hotel have a safe lockers to store valuables?
  • Does the hotel have non-smoking rooms?
  • Has the hotel made provisions for the disabled?

Pay Attention

Once aware of things consumers should be asking hotels, pay attention to the big question: What's missing? Consumers should be aware of:

  • Traffic Control: Vehicles should not be permitted to park in the immediate proximity of the buildings perimeter, even taxis. Recent hotel bombings have been as a result of an explosive-packed vehicle being parked out-front and close to the building perimeter.
  • Attentive doormen and bell staff: Were you greeted promptly and asked if you were checking-in or if you required assistance? The front door staff can be the first line of a hotels defence to "sniff-out" the not normal situation or visitor.
  • Security Officers: Are there clearly identified security officers at the building entrance and public spaces?
  • Screening of Visitors: Were you asked to produce a government issued photo ID's at check-in? A hotel should know who's staying in their building.
  • Security Cameras: Are there security cameras providing surveillance of common areas like entry points, the lobby, front desk etc.?
  • Front Desk Procedures: Hotel shouldn't state aloud your name or room number, but instead should write the number down for you.

Safeguard Your Key

Know where your room key/card is at all times. When you're in your room, always put the key in the same place the night table is a good choice so you can find it quickly. If you leave during an emergency, take the key with you; if the exits are impassable or if it's a false alarm you will need to get back into your room.

Inside Your Room. Use all available locks and chains on doors and windows while in the room. Always look through the peephole before opening the door, and never open the door to a stranger. When you leave your room, lock all luggage; use a cable lock on a laptop computer. Put anything of value in the hotel safe, and ask for a receipt for anything you've entrusted to the hotel.

Fire Safety

Major hotels have smoke alarms and sprinkler systems, and emergency evacuation instructions will be posted on the back of the entry door to your room. Additionally, there will often be fire safety information in the room - either on a pamphlet or card, or as part of the TV menu. Read this information and make sure you understand it. General fire safety precautions:

  • Familiarize yourself with the fire escape routes and locate the two exits nearest to your room in case the primary one is blocked.
  • Always keep your room key on the night table so that you can find it in a hurry.
  • Never smoke in bed.

In the event of a fire or fire alarm:

  • If there is a fire outside your room, always feel the door before opening it. If it is hot, do not open it-telephone for help.
  • If you leave the room, take your room key.
  • Never use elevators during a fire or suspected fire; they could shut down, trapping you inside. Take the stairs.
  • To help keep smoke from entering your room, soak sheets and towels and stuff them under the door.
  • Stay close to the floor for the freshest air and hold a wet washcloth over your face.
  • Do not attempt to run through smoke or flames.
  • If you are forced to stay in your room, telephone for help, turn off the air-conditioning and heating systems, and open your window slightly for ventilation.

Whether selecting a hotel for your family vacation or booking a hotel for a business meeting or special event, look for visible security features but pay particular attention to what's missing. Because what s missing tells real story.