Where do security cameras fit into hotel safety?

This is part two in a series on hotel safety and security. Click here for part one: Hotel security: Watching the lot.

One of the greatest assets for hotel security is the security camera, though guests can view them negatively if used in certain areas of the hotel. 

“People are sensitive to cameras in the exercise room or pool areas,” said Margaret Leon, operations director for Driftwood Hospitality Management. “They are also sometimes sensitive of them in hotel bars, but they are necessary there, so hotels have to be discreet with their camera placement.”

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Key camera areas, according to Leon, include exterior entrances and exits, parking lots, the front-desk area and the hotel lobby. John Porior, president of WHG Companies, said cameras should also face the hotel convenience store and any cash drawers at a checkout counter. Placement is key because there is no point if the devices can’t do their job.

Cameras can also be effective in protecting guest luggage stored in bellman stations, even if the door is locked. Should any unwanted people make their way into the storage area, the camera can track their movements or identify them. Additionally, simply having cameras visible near the bellman station, front desk or hotel store could help deter criminal activity before it takes place.

“Aside from cameras, training is a major factor for bellmen to protect luggage,” said Martin Flaherty, corporate director of maintenance at Coakley & Williams. “Bellmen are normally equipped with luggage tags, but they should be trained to recognize guests whenever possible, and never let anyone into the storage space if possible.”

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