Types of Safety and Security Functions in Hotels
Safety and security functions are an integral part of any hotel operation. These functions not only ensure the safety of guests and employees but also protect the property from damage or theft. There are several types of safety and security functions that hotels should have in place.
One of the most important safety functions is fire safety. Hotels should have smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers installed throughout the property. In addition, hotels should conduct regular fire drills to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
Another critical safety function is security. Hotels should have security personnel stationed at the entrance and throughout the property to monitor guests and prevent unauthorized access. Security cameras should also be installed in public areas, elevators, and corridors to deter criminal activities.
In addition to fire safety and security, hotels should have proper emergency procedures in place. This includes evacuation plans, medical emergency response plans, and natural disaster plans. Hotels should also have emergency generators to ensure that guests and employees have access to power during power outages.
1. Lost and found:
This is a term used in hotel parlance to refer to any item that is left by the guest or temporarily misplaced by the guest but traced later by the hotel staff. Such articles were to be handed over to the housekeeping department which maintained a special locker for this purpose.
If the item belongs to the guest who has already checked out, then a letter has to be sent to the forwarding address left by the guest while checkout or which is there in the registration card. If no reply is received by the hotel within a certain time limit, they may be auctioned to the hotel employees as per the hotel rules.
If the lost belongings are found in the public areas and the guest is still residing in the hotel then the housekeeping department keeps those items with them till any complaint is made at the front office or in the lobby. In this case, a customer is required to describe the article that is lost before that item is shown to the guest.
2. Fire in the hotel:
As soon as the fire is detected and intimated to the front desk, the first thing to do is to inform the telephone department. In most hotels, the telephone department plays a pivotal role in alarming the hotel. In a smaller hotel that has a telephone, the department is merged with the front office, there the first job is to call the fire department of that city for help.
The front office should alert all guests and inform them to use the staircase and not the elevator. The telephone exchange should always be manned during a fire to communicate from one point to another. If the front office staff have to get actively involved in the procedure then they should search each room thoroughly, especially under the bed or in closets or bathrooms to ensure that no guest is left behind.
The members of the fire response team in the hotel must guide the guest through the fire exit map and help in extinguishing the fire by the use of appropriate fire extinguishers (Foam for electrical fires and oil fires, water for general fires, and so on.)
3. Death In Hotel:
The front office/Housekeeping should inform the General Manager, and the security officer and call for the hotel doctor. No alarm is raised and none of the other guests staying at the hotel are informed about this incident. The General Manager may decide to call the police. The guest room is to be sealed until police arrive and all formalities are over. People known to the deceased guest are to be contacted through the addresses entered in the registration card.
4. Accidents in the Hotel Premises:
The house doctor should be called immediately on the phone and informed of the nature of the accident and the condition of the guest or staff. The doctor’s instructions must be followed immediately. the bleeding must be stopped by swabbing wounds with cotton wool and applying antiseptic or any lotion.
If a fracture is suspected the guest is not moved till the doctor arrives. Burns are to be treated with creams meant for the purpose. Water is never poured over the burns as this will surely lead to blisters. The hotel should train security staff for this purpose.
The front office staff must call hotel security and order the main door to be locked. If the thing gets out of hand police must be called. For any damage to property by the resident guest the front office cashier is instructed to raise a charge for the value of the damages to property, a responsible guest will never argue but if it is subject to be referred to the general manager.
6. Drunken guest:
It is prudent to never argue with a drunken guest. They must be politely led away from the public areas either into an office or in his room and if he is behaving unruly the security staff may be called.
7. Theft in the hotel premises:
The hotel often adopts certain precautions to avoid thefts these are:
- Self-locking room doors.
- Safety deposit boxes for guest valuables
- Watching guests with light baggage who could become potential skippers.
- Watching a walk-in who can be a thief.
- Avoid giving room numbers to visitors or guest names to telephone callers.
- Strictly controlling the master key.
- Posting is a recording of business transactions in accounts,... security personnel on the floor.
- Keeping all entrances, corridors, and staircases well illuminated.
- Reporting immediately any suspicious characters.
8. Bomb Threats:
With the increase in terrorism in the country and world, bomb threats are not so uncommon these days. This may be a genuine threat with explosives planted somewhere in the hotel or it may be a hoax. Whichever the case may be such threats are always taken seriously and the proper action taken.
Most bomb threats are made on the phone are attended to by either the telephone operator or the receptionist of the hotel and the following steps to be followed:
- Signal the colleague to also listen in the call and try to find out the location through the exchange.
- Listen to the caller carefully and make it prolonged and get all the information carefully- a place where planted, time of explosion, and strength of explosives.
- If possible this call may be taped and note the back noise and try to catch information from accent and police to be informed.
- Immediately after disconnection, the G M and security officer have to be informed.
- If the location is identified the department head should be also informed
- People from that suspected area have to be evacuated from that particular location.
- After the “all clear” signal from the police, the normal process of the hotel can be continued.
9. Safe Deposit:
Though the hotel is not responsible for the guest’s valuables, the rule to this effect is written on the guest’s registration card and also notified in the guest room, but a hotel offers a free safe deposit facility for his valuables. These days most hotels have installed an electronic safe deposit box in each guest room and this safety box can be operated by using a combination number as per the guest’s choice.
Hotels have a bank type of lockers installed at the front office cash. A locker is allotted to the guest that can be opened by using two keys. the master key is with the front office cashier and another key is issued to the guest. A contract is also signed between the guest and the hotel.
Whenever a guest wants to open that locker it has to be entered into the locker operating register. Signatures are always verified with the specimen and the head cashier inserts his key then a guest inserts his key, and only then a lock can be opened.
The guest is left alone to operate his locker and also lock the locker with his key. At the time of departure, the guest is asked to vacate the locker. If the key is lost by the guest then the locker will be drilled open in the presence of the guest and can be charged for the replacement of the locker.
If the guest forgets to vacate the locker they have to be informed by the hotel to come and vacate it either personally or by sending an authorized person with an authority letter.
Overall, hotels must take safety and security very seriously to provide a comfortable and secure environment for guests. By implementing these safety and security functions, hotels can ensure that everyone who stays or works within the property is safe and protected at all times.