Hotel Theft & Vandalism: “Take the Power Back”
We’ve all heard the horror stories of the crime and vandalism that can happen at hotels, but your hotel doesn’t have to be next one in the news for lack of security. Provide your guests extra safety and security by protecting their belongings and your assets. Ongoing issues of theft and vandalism in a hotel can make a hospitality manager feel powerless. Take the power back with these tips.
You can start taking back control by getting your employees involved in the safety process, they are your eyes and ears and a group effort toward a safer and more secure environment requires the help of many people. Train employees on what to look for and the protocol for how to report theft and vandalism. Employees should have access to forms that they can fill out if they notice anything, or that they can have guests fill out for missing items that they believe have been stolen.
One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to reduce theft from guest rooms is to provide in room warning signs or notes that advise guests to lock up their rooms, valuables and belongings, and to not leave their door opened or unlocked. When these signs are properly placed and adhered to, risk of theft is reduced and your hotel becomes safer.
If you have the funds to do so, cameras on every hall and around the perimeter are a great way to reduce your hotels vulnerabilities to crime such as theft and vandalism. When people believe they are being watched, they are less likely to perform a criminal act. Having cameras and someone watching them can significantly decrease the likelihood of your hotel being a target, or at the minimum can give security a way to identify suspicious behavior and mitigate it before it becomes a problem.
Safes or mini vaults in guest rooms are not necessarily cost effective, but they are practical when considering the consequences of theft at your hotel. These days, many guests leave reviews online of the places they stay, eat and the things that they do. If they experience theft of their belongings at your hotel, they are likely to write a review about it, possibly contributing to less revenue for your business. Mini vaults and safes can help diminish the possibility of theft happening in your hotel, so consider it if you are making safety and security upgrades.
If safes in every guest room is not an option, consider installing lock boxes at the front desk that guests can utilize during their stay. Guests would ask for a lock box at the front desk, an attendant would assign them a box number, give them a key, allow them to place their belongings, lock the box and turn the key in when they have removed their belongings. This is slightly more cost effective, as you wouldn’t need a lock box for every guest room on site.
One of the most difficult and costly ways to prevent theft and vandalism at your hotel is to prevent the possibility from the beginning by building your hotel with these safety precautions in mind. The layout of your hotel substantially contributes to the amount of crime, including theft and vandalism that takes place on your property. Minimize the potential of theft and vandalism by reducing the amount of hiding places and less visible areas in and around your hotel building. This can also be accomplished by reducing the amount of large trees or shrubs and anything that can be used as a hiding area.
Theft and vandalism does not have to control your business as a hotel owner or manager. Use these tips to reduce the vulnerability of crime on your property and provide a safer and more secure place for guests to stay, and to take the power back.