6 Ways to Improve Hotel Security
Hotel owners and operators know that managing the security of a busy hotel is a challenging task. Large numbers of guests and visitors come in and out of hotels at a near-constant pace. Staff is unlikely to know who is supposed to be there, and who is looking to make trouble. The sheer volume and unpredictability of visitors make hotels a target for crimes such as theft, vandalism and violence.
As someone responsible for the welfare of your guests and employees, you must take precautions to reduce the chances of a security threat on your hotel's property. There are many steps that hotel operators can take to stay ahead of potential crimes, including hiring professional security guards to monitor the premises. Start by considering some of these tips to avoid security issues at your hotel:
Why is Hotel Security a Concern?
Travelers expect that their safety and security is a top concern when staying at a hotel. In fact, many travelers don't even think about security until after an incident occurs. Hotel operators who do not focus on security risk more than just the safety of their guests and employees.
After a crime has occurred on the property, law enforcement may require that the hotel shut down temporarily. Depending on the nature of the incident, your business may experience downtime that not only inconveniences your guests but loses you revenue. In our world of social media and review sites, even one crime could result in serious damage to your reputation. Lawsuits could destroy a business if someone were to become the victim of a crime on your hotel's property.
How to Improve Hotel Security
Provide exceptional customer service.
Outstanding customer service is the cornerstone to any successful business; but, did you know that it can also be the foundation for an effective security plan? Employees should engage guests from check-in until check-out. When employees take the time to get to know their guests, it is easier for them to identify when an individual seems out-of-place or is acting suspiciously.
Get a thorough risk assessment.
Hotel operators are not necessarily experts in security. Before purchasing equipment or hiring additional staff, obtain a risk assessment from a reputable private security company. A risk assessment can alert you to your most significant security threats and vulnerabilities. Then, the security company can suggest the best tools, processes and staffing to address your unique security needs.
Invest in security technology.
Obsolete or broken technology might as well be an open invitation to a criminal. A professional security company can direct you to the latest security technologies that will address your vulnerabilities. CCTVs, security cameras and other motion-detecting software can alert you to suspicious behavior and prevent a crime before it occurs. Access control systems help you monitor entrances and exits and control restricted areas. Video footage can also assist law enforcement in finding a perpetrator after a crime has been committed.
Train and empower your employees.
Security should be a topic that is addressed in all new-hire training and regular staff meetings. Training your employees to know the signs of a security threat can go a long way in protecting your guests. Further, employees who are treated well, receive continuing education and are offered paths to move up in their careers have a greater sense of empowerment. Empowered employees are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and commitment to you and your business.
Monitor parking areas.
Parking lots can be hotbeds of crime in businesses like shopping centers and hotels. Theft and vandalism are common, especially during off-hours, when thieves are less likely to be seen. In uncontrolled lots, it is common for non-guests to park their vehicles or even sleep overnight. Hotel operators can avoid many security threats by controlling access to parking lots and garages and installing security cameras.
Hire professional security guards.
In many cases, hotel operators choose to hire private security guard companies to assist in keeping their guests, employees and property safe. Trained security guards will have a comprehensive understanding of your security threats. They know how to spot a crime before it happens and handle suspicious individuals with authority.
Roles of Hotel Security Guards
Security guards can take on many roles at a hotel. Some of the most common jobs that professional hotel security guards can take on include:
- Mobile patrol of parking areas and perimeter of the hotel property
- Visual deterrence to criminals
- Monitoring CCTVs and security cameras
- Checking guest credentials upon entering the property
- Liaise with law enforcement after a security threat has occurred
- Handle unruly guests or noise violations
- Escort guests that need assistance getting to their rooms or vehicles
- Assisting employees in handling angry guests
- Escorting employees to their vehicles at night
With the busiest travel months ahead, hotel operators should take the time to evaluate their current security plans. Employee training manuals should be reviewed to make sure that they have the most up-to-date information on hotel security protocols. Finally, consider hiring a security guard company for trained, professional guards who know how to protect your guests and your business.
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