6 ways to keep your hotel safe

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Cybersecurity is a key element of any hotel's security strategy. Photo credit: Getty Images/NicoElNino

Whatever hotel management stage you’re at—current or prospective owner—there are many factors to owning a successful establishment.  Depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be different ways to make your establishment stand out from the crowd. This will likely require extensive research into nearby properties and businesses to see exactly what is working and what isn’t.

Understanding your unique selling point and knowing which audience to market your business to are key to succeeding and maximizing profit. However, one aspect which should be a consistent consideration for every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we take a brief overview of how you can safeguard your hotel:

Using CCTV

You want your guests to feel safe and installing security cameras is a logical way to achieve this. However, just having a surveillance system in place isn’t enough. Be sure to constantly monitor your setup, even if this means hiring a third-party company to do so. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means if you spot any wrongdoing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions. You can even utilize a cloud closed-circuit TV storage system so that you can view your property from a control room, smartphone or a tablet 24/7.

Emergency Response Plan

Your staff team should be fully briefed about what to do in the case of 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.

Electric

Your electricity supply is a potential security issue, so a regular electrical installation condition report is needed. Since your business is constantly in operation, 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.  

Schedule in periodic checks. Doing this will ensure you are limiting the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace.

Gas Safety

Gas safety is another important consideration, similar to your electricity supply. Your business gas supply and associated appliances should be periodically checked. It's a good idea to arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.  

Staff training in all aspects of your business is key to success, and this includes safety. It’s important that staff have full training in the operation of any gas appliances—and this should include spotting any obvious faults by using visual checks. This could include any damaged pipework or connections.

Carbon monoxide and dioxide alarms are a must. 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.

The Staff Uniform

Obvious maybe, but a staff uniform is an important security measure. 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.

Securing Online Data

Security doesn’t end with physical safety: Hotels have become a prime target for cyberattacks. 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.

You can reduce online data security risks and ensure the safety of files and information by keeping on top of your systems and regularly updating them. 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.

Just as it is for your own personal devices, password security is also important for your business.  Change your passwords often and make sure it’s changed any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.

There is much to consider for those in the hotelier industry, but safety shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s crucial to keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.

Rob McCord is general manager for bulk commercial sales for Flogas, has more than 12 years’ experience within the liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas industry.

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