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The hotel safety & security procedures compliance playbook

The hotel safety & security procedures compliance playbook

As a hotel owner, staff and guest safety must be among your top priorities—both for guest experience and to adhere to specific state regulations.

But in order to truly plan a comprehensive hotel safety strategy, you need to consider all potential threats in advance. Hospitality is an ever-changing playing field, with new trends and regulations popping up every year. Thankfully, that future also comes with plenty of technological advancements to help you react quickly to dangerous scenarios.

Let’s explore three crucial steps that can ensure your hotel safety and security procedures align with new compliance policies.

Step 1: Know the key elements of hotel safety and security procedures.

Some hotel owners fear robust security leads to a decline in guest service and satisfaction. While your security program shouldn’t compromise guests' experiences, they must still feel at ease on the property. With the right tools and best practices, you can find a good balance between your hotel security procedures and guest safety and satisfaction.

hotel safety and security procedures

Hotel security breaks into three categories: the property itself, staff and guests, and assets. You must attack each from a different angle while ensuring your strategies don’t compromise each other. Let’s unpack some best practices in each category and how you can leverage them today.

Property Safety

Your building’s safety strategy further branches into a range of categories, including:

  • Building access
  • Guest and hotel vehicle safety
  • Key management
  • Surveillance
  • Building accessibility

This is by no means an exhaustive list of potential security concerns—but they are the most prominent considerations. Carefully survey your plan for handling each aspect in detail.

Consider creating an inventory of all the locks in your building—doors, windows, secondary entrances—everything. Ensure that all guest rooms are equipped with window locks, slide-and-chain door locks, and deadbolts.

This is also true for your back-of-house doors! Keeping these access points discreet and out of guests’ sight is best.

Parking is another central safety area that hotel owners must consider. Are your private parking spaces well-lit? Are there any trees or bushes blocking visibility or building entrances? Furthermore, can staff easily identify and describe access points of your building and grounds to emergency services? Assume they’re new hires—and thus relying on signs and maps—be sure to provide these.

Staff and Guest Safety

New Jersey became the first state in 2019 to mandate panic buttons in every room after an incident in Atlantic City. These panic buttons, or duress alert systems, are meant for your staff in case something happens while they’re servicing a room. If your hotel isn’t equipped with such alarms, consider the most effective way to implement them—especially if your state is considering something similar to the New Jersey mandates.

Will your current security staff provide top-notch coverage for the next five years? Ten years? If you don’t have in-house security staff, would it be more cost-effective to hire a third-party contractor? In either case, meet with your security staff regularly to ensure they’re up-to-date on all licenses and registrations. It also helps to review security protocols for various issues, including unattended vehicles, trespassers, use of force, and suspicious packages.

Similarly, consider whether your practices ensure staff safety in the normal course of work—not just in the event of an emergency. For example, new ordinances in Los Angeles restrict the square footage a housecleaner can cover in a day. This aims to reduce strain and overuse injuries. Do your staff practices align with local and regional ordinances? Even if they do, are you going above and beyond these ordinances to assure staff safety on the property?

Asset Protection

You’re ultimately responsible for all hotel and guest assets. Nobody wants to stay at a hotel where their laptop or other valuable devices might get stolen. Ensure all the phones and safes in guest rooms work properly. Can guests easily dial out to emergency services? Can they trust that their in-room safes will work as intended?

Though we’re moving into a contactless payment age, many guests will still use cash. Vary your cash collection schedule from the front desk or associated restaurants, and perform all cash counting in a secure, locked space.

Step 2: Understand state and local regulations

hotel safety and security procedures-1Modern hotel safety and security procedures have their roots in centuries-old British Innkeeper Laws. Under these rules, hotels assume more obligation towards their guests than the average person does towards their neighbors. The medieval inns offered travelers a place to stay that was safe from highway bandits and the harshness of nature.

While today’s hotels don’t have to worry about bandits, they do maintain the same obligation toward guest safety. They’re responsible for loss prevention and the health and physical safety of their staff and guests. While most regulations are standard across regions, there are still some state-specific mandates you must be aware of.

For example, in Florida, hotels may have to compensate guests in a case of negligent security that leads to that guest becoming the victim of a crime. Florida also has several statutes in the book related to door locks and railings, fire safety, and sanitation. In short, be sure you thoroughly understand the regulations in your state and municipality—and keep abreast of changes.

Step 3: Always be ready to demonstrate compliance

Well-kept and accessible records are essential for any successful business, including your hotel. When it comes time to prove regulatory compliance, will your paperwork be readily available? Instead of scrambling to gather all the necessary proof, consider investing in hotel management software to keep everything you need in one place.

hotel safety and security procedures-2 The best way to ensure that your staff functions in a risk-free environment is to maintain detailed hotel safety and security procedures. Create a checklist of tasks you and your staff must perform to comply with state and local regulations. This includes front-of-house tasks like basic sanitation and administrative jobs like staffing, overtime, insurance, and inspections.

Unfortunately, some hotels still rely on outdated practices to document these compliance tasks, which will leave you scrambling for paperwork—which is often incomplete—when the state inspector comes knocking. Thankfully, hotel owners can rely on modern technology and software to access all their compliance documentation with one simple click.

WrkSpot: Modernizing your hotel safety and security procedures

By establishing robust hotel safety and security procedures, you can ensure your facility is compliant with all state regulations. When it comes time to prove compliance—or simply track it on your own—modern hotel management technology like WrkSpot streamlines the process.

WrkSpot is the industry-leading solution for all your hotel management needs. From your workforce and daily operations to guest safety and compliance, WrkSpot tracks and collects all the information you need in one cohesive environment. Gone are the days of overlapping software tools, dual entries, and multiple systems. With WrkSpot, you can quickly cut your workload in half, reduce costs, and remain compliant.

Get in touch with WrkSpot today and schedule a free demo to learn how their cutting-edge software will improve your hotel's safety and security procedures.

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