How the Hospitality Industry Tackles Security Risks
A hotel’s staff may pride itself on its customer service and wide range of amenities, but any positive traits mean little without a safe and secure environment for its guests. Security is a growing concern for industries of all kinds, and for the hospitality industry, providing for guests’ safety and peace of mind is essential to the success of their business.
An effective hotel security program requires a comprehensive approach that entails a continuous reevaluation of current policies, training, and security systems. What may be effective today will inevitably lead to vulnerabilities a year from now. Here we’ll examine some common areas where security evaluations can be made and where new initiatives can be implemented.
At the center of any security policy are the people who carry it out, and proper training on security threats should be mandatory for all employees. Training should cover what to look for in guest behavior and what constitutes authentic security threats. Attentiveness naturally plays a big role in guest service, but it’s also a contributing factor when it comes to security policies. Someone with criminal intentions may consider abandoning his plans when he witnesses how well monitored guest activity is, sending the message that any attempt to compromise security will be reacted to quickly. Employee training should also be updated periodically, and refresher training sessions can be conducted on an annual or more frequent basis to keep everyone’s security awareness and skills up-to-date.
The employee training mentioned above should also periodically include emergency procedures on how to handle intruders and contacting the authorities when necessary. Practice sessions can be done much like fire drills to ensure all staff members are prepared for any security breaches and can react appropriately, and fire drills should also be held on a regular basis. Emergency training should also include instructing staff on how to operate fire and safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers. Whether training on general security tasks or emergency procedures, the underlying goal should be striking a successful balance of security demands and a welcoming atmosphere.
Guest Room Security
The primary defense against room invasions is a reliable key card system. The security advantages that key cards provide are a step above what was previously available with traditional keys. Being able to reprogram key cards and key slots on doors is an effective means of reducing break-ins, but these systems are still vulnerable to tampering and can be hacked with the right equipment.
Preventing these kinds of threats will demand making sure systems are continually maintained and frequently reprogrammed, eliminating the vulnerabilities that hackers need. An effective tactic may also be requiring guests to use key cards to operate the elevator or even to access different floors from a stairwell, keeping unwelcomed visitors limited to only the lobby. In addition to our fire safety strategies, Koorsen offers a card access system designed for hotels as part of our commercial security products.
Background Checks for Contractors
Whenever outside contractors are needed to do any sort of maintenance, remodeling, or repair work, it’s important to conduct a background check as part of your decision on whom to hire. Making sure that you’ll be hiring a trustworthy organization that won’t allow breaches in security to take place, whether unintentional or not, will be crucial.
The same rule should also apply to staff. Being able to verify that an individual will be a valuable part of your business, rather than a liability, can help prevent any security threats, and background checks should be an inherent part of hiring practices.
Security during normal business hours has its challenges, and the hours beyond that timeframe require additional tactics as well as the extension of policies maintained during normal business hours. Having security staff posted or making rounds through the building should be part of after-hours duties, as the presence of one or more security guards can be deterrent enough to those contemplating a burglary.
A dependable surveillance system should be in use at all hours, but is essential during the late-night and early-morning shifts. By providing views of any vulnerable areas, whether indoors or outside (such as parking and loading areas), the video feed can alert hotel staff to any security concerns immediately and record any activities for evidence later on. Additionally, good lighting in outdoor areas also sends the message that any unwanted activity will easily be spotted by surveillance cameras or hotel personnel.
Providing Pathways to Effective Security Solutions
Whether on business or a vacation, everyone wants their hotel lodgings to offer a safe and relaxing environment. As a leader in security and fire safety for both hospitality businesses and homeowners, Koorsen can partner with your establishment to develop customized fire protection and commercial security systems that will protect guests, staff, and property. With seven decades of experience behind our strategies, our team can minimize security threats and fire hazards while ensuring your business is up-to-code and your patrons are safe. Contact a Koorsen professional today to learn more.