Read These Tips Before Your Next Hotel Stay
By Paul Riegler on 19 February 2015
Perhaps one of the last things travelers think of when planning a trip is hotel security, but it is not a trivial matter. The joy and excitement from a day of adventures or successful business meetings will quickly dissipate if upon your return you find the room has been ransacked, or worse, that there is an intruder in the room.
Most hotels continually review and update their safety and security protocols, and keeping guests safe is always a top priority. Nonetheless, experts recommend that guests remain vigilant, just in case.
Darryl Hill, director of safety and security at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, offered several precautions many guests might not think of. His hotel issues keys in sleeves with the room number indicated inside the sleeve. He suggests tossing the sleeve (many guests usually keep the key card in the sleeve) so that “there is no room number associated with it” if it’s ever misplaced.
Hill also suggests making sure the room door actually closes, pointing out that “chains or other objects will block the door from completely closing,” and Darrell Chaneyfield, InterContinental Hotels Group’s director of security for the United States and Canada, recommends that guests report anything “suspicious” to the hotel.
Indeed, a little paranoia is good when traveling, as fires, break-ins, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks do occur. Just last week an FBT staffer had to evacuate his hotel room when a dryer in the hotel’s laundry room caught fire.
Taking a few minutes to take some precautions is never a bad idea. Here are some basic tips and best practices that you should become familiar with before your next trip.
PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
1.) Before booking your stay, look at the area surrounding the hotel. Is it considered safe by locals? Is it safe to walk around after dark? Are crime and/or terrorism a threat in the city you will be visiting?
2.) With respect to choosing a hotel, find out if the front desk is staffed 24 hours a day. Is access to guest floors restricted by key card or some other means?
ONCE CHECKED IN
3.) When checking in, avoid a ground floor room if possible. Many experts recommend a room as low as the third floor and as high as the sixth, making break-ins unlikely but your floor will be low enough so that fire department ladders can reach you should an emergency arise.
4.) Once in your room, keep the door locked at all times. This includes deadbolts, security chains, and those newer swinging metal security bars. Don’t leave your door propped open – ever – even if just running down the hall.
5.) If someone knocks on your door claiming to be hotel staff and you haven’t requested the service, call the front desk before opening the door to verify that it is in fact a hotel employee.
6.) Protect valuables including important papers and passports by leaving them in the room safe which, although not 100% secure, offers protection from casual interlopers.
Click here to continue the other 6 Essential Hotel Room Safety Tips