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Hotel Safety and Security

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The security department in a hotel is responsible for maintaining security alarm systems and implementing procedures aimed at protecting the personal property of guest, employees, and the hotel itself. Hotel security plays a vital role in protecting hotel, guests, and employees against wicked activities.

A security program should stress the prevention of security problems and train the staff to prevent security incidents where possible.

Each property must continually review its security process and update them to meet changing security needs. The following list indicates general responsibilities that might be a part of hotel's security program.

  1. Handling of locks and keys (electronic or mechanical)
  2. Security to the guest rooms.
  3. Protection of assets.
  4. Conducting emergency procedures.
  5. Proper transmission of communication or information in emergencies.
  6. Maintain security records and staff security procedures.

In addition to this, hotels design and layout can greatly affect its security program.

Accidents

Accidents are unpredicted and may be minor or major depending upon the condition of an incident. In a case of any unusual accidents, the following steps should be taken.

  • The hotel or house doctor should be called immediately.
  • Try to find out the condition of the guest and nature of the accident.
  • Doctor's instruction must be followed immediately.
  • If the accident is minor like the simple burn, cut, bleeding etc, aid treatment should be given as per requirements. (please see first aid procedures)
  • If it is beyond the control and happens to be a major case, a guest should be taken to the nearby health centers or hospitals and inform the concerned person or relatives if required.

Damage to the hotel property

Natural disaster, human errors and other guest and employee activities might cause damage to the hotel property.

Following are some of the procedures as how to handle damages caused by the guest.

  • Guest staying in a hotel may damage the hotel property knowingly or unknowingly.
  • Depending upon the type of damage caused by the guest, the hotel may charge for the value of damages.
  • Front office cashier is instructed to put the damaged amount in the guests account if found that it is intentionally done.
  • A responsible guest will never argue but may object. He/she must be referred to the manager on duty or General Manager.

Theft

Hotel belongings can be stolen by guests or employees. If a guest has stolen an item from the room then the value of the item should be placed on the guest account or guest folio at front office cashier. Guest is politely informed about his deeds only if one is sure that the guest is to blame. If not, hotel security is informed by providing all the necessary details about the incident. The necessary action is taken after serious scrutiny.

Drunk

Sometimes hotel may come over to handle usual incidents like drunken guests. It is understandable not to argue with the drunken guest. He/She must be politely taken to his/her room or away from the public area. If the situation is getting worse and difficult to handle, the hotel security must be called and handed over to them. The necessary steps will be taken to bring the guest in a normal position.

Skipper

Skippers are a big problem to a hotel business, therefore the necessary precautions should be taken to control skippers by checking the complete address in the registration form. Suspicious guests perhaps are asked for the payment in advance or full payment. If the guests are found to be with a scanty baggage, the front office personnel or the staff should keep an eye on the guest, limit the amount of the bill to restrict the expenses from going up.

Fire in a hotel

  • As soon as a fire is detected, the first thing to do is to inform the telephone operator, who plays a vital role on alarming the entire hotel.
  • The front desk staff should immediately call the fire brigade available in the city for help.
  • The front office along with security staff should alert all in-house guests by informing them to use staircases, not elevators.
  • Every room from the room should be vacated as far as possible.
  • Trained firefighters should be initiated to extinguish the fire, using appropriate safety measures. Use different extinguishers for different grades of fire.
  • If possible, necessary things should be removed and guests are suggested not to create panic or havoc which can make the situation more difficult to handle.
  • All employees are to be informed and offices vacated accordingly.
  • In a case of big fire, fire brigade must be called as soon as possible.

Even there are various source of danger to the hotel we can keep prevention for such situation, Such as:

Security through information

  • A person inquiring about the house guest at the front desk should be asked to use hotel phone to talk to the guest
  • Do not announce guest room number while handling room key.
  • Do not give guest details about guest and guest room number to the outside through a telephone.
  • Always identify and verify the caller before connecting to the guest line.
  • Guest emails should be handled properly at information section and deliver it at the time of arrival.

Security through key handling

  • Guest room key should keep at the secured place at information section.
  • Master key and the grand master key should handle by authorized person only.
  • A logbook should be maintained to record the issue of master and grand master key.
  • Guest should be encouraged to deposit hotel key when they leave the hotel premises.
  • Guest room key should not be issued to others without guest permission.
  • Daily inventory of key should be carried out.
  • Do not forget to collect guest room key at the time of departure.
  • Use of electronic card is effective and reliable for security.

Security for hotel

  • Provide uniform for staff.
  • A CCTV can be used to monitor the movement in public areas.
  • Security personnel should be positioned in their place every time.
  • Staff should be checked out at arrival and departure ay duty.

Security for guest room

  • No room key should be given to outsiders without guest permission.
  • Unauthorized staff should not have aces to a guest room.
  • Inform guest about safe deposit locker in the hotel so that guest can secure their valuables in the locker.
  • Do not give personal details about guest to outsiders.

References:

Joshi, Basant Prasad et.al., Fundamentals of Hotel Management-XII, Sukunda Pustak Bhandar, Kathmandu

Bhandari, Saroj Sing et.al., Principle of Hotel Management-XII, Asmita Publication, Kathmandu

Oli, Gopal Singh et.al., Hotel Management Principle and practices-XII, Buddha Prakashan, Kathmandu



  1. The security department in a hotel is responsible for maintaining security.
  2. Natural disaster, human errors and other guest and employee activities might cause damage to the hotel property.
  3. As soon as a fire is detected, the first thing to do is to inform the telephone operator, who plays a vital role on alarming the entire hotel.
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