HOTEL SECURITY

How to protect your hotel guests

Rob McCord

General Manager for Bulk Commercial Sales, Flogas

March 19, 2019

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When running a hotel or guest house, keeping your guests safe and secure is obviously top priority.

But it can be easy to neglect to review and update security measures during the day-to-day running of a hotel. When was the last time you reviewed your emergency response plan, for example? Or your data security?

In this article, we’ll look at different ways to ensure your security is of the highest quality for your guests.

Emergency response plans

Make sure you team is well aware of what they need to do in an emergency. Regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency services should be scheduled so you have a good communication plan in place and can update it as and when required. In doing so, you can prepare your staff so that everyone is calm and knowledgeable in a worst-case scenario.

Director of the Cairn Collection, Aneil Handa, commented that: “We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes.”

Electrical Installation Condition Report

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) needs to be done regularly for a hotel or guest house. This is because, since your business is constantly running, your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading.

Such a report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose. By carrying out these checks periodically, you are limiting the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace – something which is a legal requirement since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

How a uniform can help

You may not think it, but a corporate uniform is essential for guest security. Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but it also gives your guests a clear view of who they can approach about a query, and who indeed is allowed in certain areas of the business.

In guest areas, knowing who members of staff are is essential. This is because it shows that your company have guests’ safety at the forefront due to staff always patrolling the areas.

Having CCTV

A simple solution, but a strong one all the same — CCTV instils a sense of security for your guests. However, just having a surveillance system in place isn’t enough. Be sure to constantly monitor your set-up, even if this means hiring a third-party company to do so. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means that if you spot any wrong-doing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions.

Gas mains

Just like with electricity, you need to inspect any gas installations or appliances regularly. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that you must arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.

In addition, you must also train your staff on how to use any gas appliances and show them how to carry our visual checks, so they can spot obvious faults. This could include any damaged pipework or connections. While any new installations must be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, anyone can change a LPG gas cylinder or hose once they are competent to do so.

A carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide alarm are crucial too. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.

Keeping online data safe

You also need to consider digital security. Hotels have become a prime target for cyber-attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches, with most of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.

Regular system updates are paramount for keeping your digital files safe. You should also be making sure that backing up your data becomes a habit, so you can eliminate the risk of losing it or having it irretrievably damaged.

A recommended strategy is to use a cloud service daily, have weekly server backups, and follow these up with quarterly server backups and then yearly backups. Password security is also important, just as it would be for your personal devices. Be sure to change it often and make sure you change it any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.

Safety is a key area of importance across every industry, especially hospitality. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.

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