Access Control: Best Practices for After-Hours Operation
By Craig Schwab Business Development Manager, AlliedBarton Security Services LLC | December 18, 2011
Hotels face a universal challenge: how to manage security without encroaching on guests' privacy, comfort and experience. Safeguarding hotel guests requires a multi-pronged security program that starts with a well-trained staff and includes security officers, closed circuit television systems, electronic access control and appropriate lighting and landscaping that ensures the identification and prevention of crime.
Due to their open access, hotels present significant challenges to the management and security team. Hoteliers need to artfully juggle providing discreet security for their guests while ensuring that their stays are pleasurable and worry-free. Hotel guests – whether traveling for business or pleasure – need to have a high level of trust in the establishments where they will be staying. Safety and security is therefore a crucial component of our highly mobile culture. As a security professional for the country's leading physical security company, I offer my top tips for hotel management to consider implementing as part of their business operations to ensure the safety and security of their guests, staff and visitors, while at the same time enhancing the guest experience and building brand loyalty.
Welcome and Protect
The key to hotel security is finding a balance that fosters an inviting atmosphere for guests while ensuring safety and security. By the virtue of their many open areas, hotels need to be welcoming and inclusive. For example, presenting security personnel in a customer service role, with the officers dressed in suits rather than the traditional military style, makes for a more accessible presence. This security-minded ambassador provides an increased level of customer service in addition to security protection to both welcome and protect guests and visitors.
During off-hours, security personnel should be posted at the front entrance and at any other access point to the property to greet all guests entering the property and to act as a deterrent and barrier for people who have no business in the hotel. It is important for hotels to train all employees and contractors to maintain key control, restrict access to registered guests only, report suspicious activity, conduct routine property tours to access all security and fire hazards and protect all guest information from outsiders.
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