Handling Suspicious Items and Packages in Hotels
Each Hotel should create guidelines and instructions on employee recognition of, response to, and reporting of unattended items. The Hotel should conduct a review of its current policies and procedures and create guidelines and instructions that coincide with the security goals and potential threats identified by the hotel organization.
Coordination with transit security/police and/or local law enforcement officials will ensure a unified approach and facilitate collaborative efforts if warranted by the circumstances surrounding the
discovered and reported unattended item. Guidelines on the recognition of, response to, and reporting of unattended items are provided in this training document.
How to Identify Suspicious Items and Packages by Hotel Staff?
- Any unattended item incongruous to that location (e.g., a suitcase in the corridor or lift, restaurant, SPA).
- Any unattended item located in an out-of-the-way place where it is not readily visible.
- Any unattended item that matches something described in a reported threat or has a threatening note attached.
- Any unattended item that has visible wires, batteries, a clock or timer, bottles, tanks, or bags attached.
- Any unattended item that is abandoned by someone quickly leaving the area.
- Any unattended item emitting an odor, mist, or oily liquid, or leaking a powdery substance.
- Ticking, vibration, or other sound coming from the package.
- Look for any Leaks, stains, powders, or protruding materials in any package.
Do’s and Don’ts for Hotel Staff after Discovering a Suspicious Package or Item.
- Do not touch, move, or alter the object.
- Do not disturb the suspicious item or object.
- Do not try to clean up the substance.
- Inform others and keep other staff and guests away from the area.
- Instruct staff or guests in the immediate area to wash hands and other exposed skin with soap and water.
- Direct these guests to a designated area away from the substance to await further instruction.
- Alert other staff in the immediate vicinity.
- Ring the security manager or security desk number.
- If required shut down all equipment in the immediate area and HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).
- Make sure that persons assemble in a well-ventilated area, where they are not exposed to further risk.
- Provide your name, location, object location, and suspicious details.
- Write down any information you have about the object.
- You can give this to Emergency Personnel when they arrive before you forget.
What needs to be done if the article is opened by the staff?
- Do not disturb the item any further.
- Do not pass it around.
- Try to minimize physical contact with anything else – if you have to, then try and remember what you touch.
- If any material has split from the item, do not try to clean it up or brush it from your clothing.
- Ensure that other staff and guests in the same room/work area also remain there and adopt the same personal precautions.
- Stop anyone else from entering the room/work area.
- If possible (without leaving your work area), wash your hands.
- Remain calm you are not in immediate danger and wait for help to arrive.
Below are details to be noted down by the hotel security and updated in the incident register.
- Location of Suspicious Items/Packages.
- Description of items or package.
- Name of the employee who first reported this incident.
- Description of the item like any markings, labels, declarations, postage, etc.
- Note down any addressee’s name.
- Note down any Mailer’s name and address.
- Take a picture of the suspicious item or package and attach it to the report.