Whether you’re a businessman passing through town or you’re on a family vacation, your hotel room is your “home.” It’s a place where you and your family should feel safe.
Just like homes, hotel rooms are also subject to a break-in. If you have ever been a victim of a burglary of any kind, you’re left feeling violated. A complete stranger has stepped foot into your personal space, your sanctuary, and has stolen your personal property. It leaves you in a state of mind of total insecurity.
In this day and age, crime is at an all time high. Being in an alert state of mind at all times is a way of life…for all of us. The days of leaving the doors unlocked, the days of letting your kids walk to school, and the days of feeling completely safe in public are, unfortunately, a thing of the past.
Learning safety procedures in every aspect of your life is an important step for you and your loved ones to remain safe. Now, I’m not saying walk around in permanent karate chop mode, but learning various safety measures to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your possessions (that you work hard to pay for) are important!
Hotel rooms are a way of life for some and an occasional luxury for others. In either case, you want to be safe and secure and you want your possessions to stay just that – YOURS!
In my research, I came across CrimeDoctor.com and found some excellent advice regarding hotel safety. These safety measures could save you and your loved ones a world of hurt.
Here are some of the safety measures and tips we’ll go over in this article:
- Floor and room selection – What are the safest choices?
- Door security – How secure is your hotel room door?
- Possible entry points for an intruder
- Elevator safety measures
- Parking lot safety
- Occupancy Cues – How to make a possible intruder think the room is occupied
- Hold a family meeting to discuss hotel room safety
Let’s get started with the basics. How should you choose where to stay in the hotel?
Floor and Room Selection
According to Crime Doctor, upper floors are safer from crime, but worse for fire rescue. Emergency rescue is best below the fifth floor. You can compromise by picking a modern fire-safe hotel.
Always request a room on an upper floor to reduce crime exposure. Ground floor rooms are more vulnerable to crime problems because of access and ease of escape. In a high-rise building, rooms above the fifth-floor are usually safer from crime than those below because of lesser accessibility and ease of escape.
Also, rooms not adjacent to fire stairs are safer from room intruders because they use the stairs for escape. Criminals do not want to be trapped on an upper floor inside a high-rise hotel. By design, high-rise buildings usually have fewer ground level access points and are easier for the hotel staff to monitor who passes through the lobby after hours.
Hotel rooms should be equipped with a solid-core wood or metal door for best protection.
Doors should be self-closing and self-locking. Room doors should have a deadbolt lock with at least a one-inch throw bolt.
If the lock appears worn or there are pry marks around the lock area, get another room or move to another hotel. The knob-lock should be hotel-style where you can push a button on the inside knob and block out all keys. This feature is designed to prevent a former guest or housekeeper from entering the room once you are safely inside.
Hotels with electronic card access have the advantage of being able to disable former keycards issued to previous guests and unauthorized employees. Electronic locks will also block out most room service keys when you set the deadbolt. The room door should have a wide-angle peephole so you can view who is at the door before opening.
Possible Entry Points for an Intruder
Make sure all windows and sliding doors are secured, if they are accessible from the ground. It is a good idea to test all windows and glass doors to see if they are secure.
Beware of balconies where someone can climb from one to another and enter through an open window or sliding door. If the windows or sliding doors are not securable, ask for another room or find another hotel.
If your room has an adjoining door to an adjacent room, check it to see that it is secured with a deadbolt lock. If it is questionable, ask for another room.
Elevator Safety Measures
Be aware of possible intruders on elevators. One tactic that an intruder will use is to select a victim in the lobby and ride up in the elevator with them. They will get off on the same floor as you and pretend to walk behind you as if going to their own room. Once the guest opens their door, the intruder will force his way in behind you and make his demand.
Parking Lot Safety
- If you are a woman traveling alone or with small children, take advantage of car valet service (if available) to avoid the parking lot.
- After checking in, ask the bellman or desk clerk to escort you to your room.
- After unlocking the room, quickly inspect the closets, under the bed, and bathroom including behind the shower curtain before the bellman leaves. It’s courteous to tip the bellman for his efforts.
- Put the Do-Not-Disturb sign on the doorknob even when you are away, as this deters possible intruders (it may affect housekeeping service, however.)
- Turn on the TV or radio just loud enough to hear through the door to give the appearance that the room is occupied.
- While away from your room, leave one light on inside the room. This helps you see upon re-entry and gives the room the appearance of occupancy from the outside.
Hold a Family Meeting
Following entering and immediately inspecting the room, conduct a family meeting to discuss safety measures for your entire family. Keep it short and simple so it’s easy to remember.
No matter what, if at all possible — stick together! In a hotel safety type scenario, never walk the hotel parking lot, elevator, and hallways alone! There is ALWAYS strength in numbers – in any situation.
A door alarm wedge and/ or a tree felling wedge also work to slow intruder down, who have gotten unknown access or who break the door down.