Safety and Security in Hotels

Safety and security are two responsibilities of hotel managers. Guests expect to sleep, meet, dine, and entertain in a facility that is safe and secure – and are entitled to reasonable care under law. Housekeeping and Front Office personnel can help meet this guest expectation and, in some cases, make the difference in the property’s safety and security system. Safety A term that pertains to discussing disaster preparedness, fire prevention and protection, protection devices, and conditions that provide for freedom from injury and damage to property. The two hotel departments most likely to have the largest number of accidents and injuries are maintenance and housekeeping. One basis for this frequency is the sheer labor-intensity of these two departments. In many operations, housekeeping and maintenance employ more people than any other department. Another reason lies in the fact that working in housekeeping or maintenance involves physical activities and equipment use – both of which increase the risks of accident and injury. To reduce safety risks, the executive housekeeper must be aware of potential safety hazards and develop procedures to prevent accidents. Safety should be a top priority. Ongoing safety training programs help ensures that safe conditions are maintained in all work areas. To develop programs, management must be aware of the laws that regulate the work environment – and more specifically, how those laws affect housekeeping personnel. Employee Morale and Management Concerns Unsafe working conditions have a negative effect on employee morale. If employees are preoccupied with hazardous conditions in the work place, they will not be able to perform the best of their ability. For most part, it is difficult to motivate employees until unsafe conditions are corrected.

One of management’s top concerns should be for the health and welfare of employees. Employees are one of the most important assets a hotel has. If managers want employees to provide quality service, they must treat employees fairly and with respect. Respect for an employee’s right to work in a safe and hazard free environment is a good place to begin. Potentially Hazardous Conditions Accidents and injuries do not have to occur. By following three simple rules, employees can contribute to a safe, accident-free work environment:
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Take adequate time Correct unsafe conditions immediately Do it safely the first time

Lifting: Housekeeping tasks often involve lifting heavy objects. Employees may also be required to move furniture in order to complete a thorough cleaning task. Incorrectly lifting heavy objects such as bags, boxes, and containers may result in strained or pulled muscles and back injury. In turn, these injuries can result in loss of work and long-term pain and suffering. Employees can also incur cuts and scratches when lifting items such as trash or dirty linens which contain pointy objects or broken glasses. In all instances, employees should know what conditions to look for and the special precautions to take. Some guidelines for safe moving and lifting:

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Inspect the object before lifting. Do not lift any item that you cannot get your arms around or that you cannot see over when carrying. Get help if it is too heavy. Look for any protrusions, especially when lifting trash or bundles of linen. Quite often, these items contain pointy objects or broken glass. Exercise special care to avoid injury. When lifting, place one foot near the object and the other slightly back and apart. Keep well balanced. Keep the back and head of your body straight. Because the back muscles are generally weaker than the leg muscles, do not use the back muscle to lift the object. Bend slightly at the knees and hips but do not stoop. Use both hands and grasp the objects using the entire hand. Lift with the leg muscles.

When tucking in sheets. place it out of service. When reaching for something. If a broken glass is found. Avoid twisting your body. When setting an object down. use feet and legs and not arms and shoulders. do not try to stop or stand it up by alone. rely on one’s legs and feel not unto one’s back or across the body. Without it. There may be spills or broken glasses on the floor that need to be cleared. nor on the waist to prevent back injury. When selecting a ladder for a particular cleaning job. tag the ladder. sweep the floor and place the glass in a container separate from the trash. Wear the right shoes. picking up a laundry or cleaning a tub. Rather. never stand on the edge of a toilet bowl. Be careful with loose screw or sharp edges as they could catch on one’s clothing and cause cuts. not just your arms and shoulder. A ladder must be high enough so that an attendant can stand on it and do the job without overreaching. Check the ladder for stability and examine crosspieces for sturdiness. Ask for help. In case a cart falls down. Keep the cart close. Never stand on the top step of a ladder. the floor should be dry and clean. its condition. If the area cannot be reached while standing on the step below the top step. with a closed toe and fit to give you the best comfort. To avoid slipping and tripping. In all instances. do not use your back muscles. Watch where you are going to prevent slips and fall. You might loose your balance and fall. If the ladder is broken or defective. When pushing the cart. Use door stopper and not linens or objects that could cause a slip or fall. Remove sticking thread on the wheels. Turn on lights and look all sides before entering any room. especially in the tub. Do not overload laundry cart to make it easier to pull. check if it has sticking wheels. Use your body weight in pushing and pulling the vacuum. and report it to the appropriate housekeeping supervisor or the maintenance department An aluminum or metal ladder should never be used when working near or on electrical equipment. lean forward into the cart. do not use it. bend with the knee and not on the back. the ladder is too short for he job. height and footing should be inspected. Use the leg muscles and follow the procedures used to lift objects. . Working shoes should be slip resistant. It is heavier than you think and can cause accidents. it will be harder to push and could injure the user.                Keep the object close to the body. Ladders: Ladders can be used when cleaning areas on or near the ceiling or for such tasks as changing light bulbs. hold the cord and coil as you go. To push the room attendant’s cart easily. Ladders with rubber footings should be used on tile floors or in kitchen areas to prevent slipping.

test the ladder for stability. Do not hold any items or tools that may prevent the use of one or both hands. smokes. Employees may also be required to wear protective eye goggles or gloves. Equipment wires and connections should be checked periodically. Equipments should be unplugged by grasping the plug and pulling it gently away from the outlet. and power tools come with instructions. or vapors. Always be sure to face a ladder when climbing and have a clean and dry hands and feet. chemicals. all tools and equipment should be turned off and stored in the proper place. In no instance should an attendant attempt to restart the equipment. the equipment should be unplugged. The malfunction should be reported to the appropriate housekeeping supervisor or the maintenance department. An employee should never operate electrical equipment when standing in water or when hands or clothing are wet. Machinery: Employees should be authorized and trained in the use of machinery and equipment before operating such devices. Never place a ladder against window or an uneven surface. Never use a piece of equipment or machinery that is not operating correctly. Mark the area underneath the ladder with caution signs so that guests or employees do not walk under the ladder. Electrical Equipment: Extra care must be taken when operating electrical equipment. it should be well balanced and secure against the wall and floor. Some employees may need additional training and supervised practice before operating equipment and machinery on the job by themselves. Contact the appropriate supervisor or the maintenance department to have it repaired as soon as possible. When not in use. Equipment and machineries should never be left unattended while in use. Equipment with loose connections or exposed wires should not be used. Most equipment. It is also unsafe to operate electrical equipment near flammable liquids. Sparks from electrical equipment could start a fire. This will loosen the connection between the cord and the plug and cause sparks and shorts. Many power tools and other machineries are equipped with protective guards or shields. Even one of the most common housekeeping appliances like a vacuum cleaner can be harmful or deadly if operated improperly or in unsafe conditions.Ladders should be placed so footing is at least one fourth of the ladder length away from the wall. An appliance should never be unplugged by pulling or yanking the cord. If it is possible and safe to do so. machineries. or flames should be turned off immediately. Before climbing. These safety guards should never be removed. . All protective gear should be worn per instructions. Equipment that sparks.

Second. Continual training in chemical safety is necessary for two reasons: First. These chemicals are powerful cleaners. appliances. Wear personal protective equipment like goggles and hand gloves for protection from spills and splashes. Chemicals: Many housekeeping employees are exposed to dangerous chemicals in their daily work routines. Handling Chemicals Safely:    Read the labels and the material safety data sheet. not all are acceptable for use in a hospitality operation. . and other fixtures for frayed wires. injury. However. To use the chemical correctly. skin rashes. when used improperly. Potentially hazardous chemicals are also used to kill insects and rodents. blindness. room attendants should check electric lamps. This is not always possible. vomiting. In such situations. tape the cord to the floor and place caution signs over the taped cord. these same helpful chemicals can cause nausea. There are many types of extension cords. If any of these conditions are found. or even death when touched. Often the use of such hazardous and toxic chemicals cannot be avoided. When cleaning guestrooms. particularly with such tasks as vacuuming corridors. are relatively harmless. Some housekeeping situations require employees to handle toxic substances to unstop clogs in toilets and other plumbing fixtures. the room attendant should not attempt to fix them. cancer. rather. when used properly with proper protective gear. If the appliance will be stationary and in use for a lengthy period. Extension cords should be inspected for exposed wire before use just like any other electrical cord. new employees – especially in properties with high employee turnover – need to be trained immediately. Exposed electrical wire may result in shock. and even death. keep the cord close to the wall and post caution signs in the work area.When using electrical equipment. Extension cords are sometimes required – particularly when an electric outlet is not located near the work areas. loose connections and loose plugs. misused chemicals can cause serious injury in a short period. potential problems should be reported to the appropriate housekeeping supervisor or to the maintenance. and. Chemicals are used to clean all areas of a lodging property including bathrooms. the cord should be kept out of traffic areas such as the center of hallways or cross doorways. The local fire department can pinpoint which types of cords meet the local fire codes and regulations. kitchens and floors. follow the direction of the label. Outlet and switch covers should be checked to ensure that they are covered properly and not cracked or broken.

Supervisors and selected hourly employees can also contribute important security information and add to the committee’s effectiveness. If a chemical spill blocks your skin. employee. Clean contaminated areas. and company property and prevention of other emergencies. Handle potentially contaminated items as little as possible. as well as to the protection and defense against the loss or theft of guest. . Maintaining records on such incidents as theft. and on-site violence. Use the right amount of chemicals. If not sure of how to clean up a spill. vandalism. Be sure the correct chemical goes in a properly labeled container when refilling spray bottles. Use proper container for disposal of items. Never mix chemicals the result can be potentially deadly like fumes created by mixing bleach with ammonia. rinse it with a clean water and get immediate medical assistance. If a chemical spills. Excessive amount may damage surfaces. Security Committees: Security committee should consist of key management personnel – including departmental heads. Investigating security incidents. Committee Responsibilities:       Development of security handbook and the design of training and awareness programs. block the surface. Security Security refers to the freedom from fear. anxiety. Thoroughly wash hands after using chemicals. and doubt involving ourselves. Maintain open lines of communication with the local police department. ask the supervisor. A minor spill can be cleaned up. rinse as directed in the material safety data sheet If your eyes are exposed and contaminated by a spill.            Use only one chemical for its intended purpose. and suggesting solutions for returning security problems. Conducting spot security audits and property inspections. Monitoring. Cap of bottles/ containers should be tight and the broken nozzles must be replaced to prevent drips. analyzing.

some properties keep count of the number of amenities inside the room. ashtrays. A through background check should be conducted. Before asking any questions or making inquiries. A manager who takes hotel steaks home to barbeque will not be effective when asking employees not to steal food. Secure windows. The room attendant. linen. Another strategy. notes how many items are in the room. it can add up to a large expense for a hospitality operation. It is a good practice to conduct a monthly inventory of all housekeeping supplies including toilet paper. pens. these items are provided for the guest’s convenience and are actually a form of advertising used by the hotel. Management should also detail explicit rules and regulations concerning employee theft. bathrobes. and other hotel property. Managers should screen applicants before making a job offer. and pictures are not part of the marketing strategy and are not meant to be taken by guests. Detailed records that note any unusual or unexplained fluctuations should be kept of all items in stock. it is noted at the front desk. If the items in storage do not match the usage rate. Keep storage rooms closed and locked Affix or bolt guestroom items and fixtures to appropriate surfaces. Employees . having these items on sale helps set a standard price that can be levied against guests for a missing item. shampoo. and leather stationery folders and the like are on sale in their gift shops. when cleaning the next day. However. including a check for any criminal convictions. This may reduce the likelihood of theft since guests have the option of purchasing these items. too. or if too little stock is on the shelves. When the guest request for additional item. towels. some hotels place items such as towels. and linens. When these items turn up missing. The employee handbook should spell out the consequences of stealing hotel property. Employee theft: it is up to the management to set the standards for reducing employee theft – and to act as a good example. Also. Good inventory control procedures can also help control theft. For most part.Theft: Guest theft: most hotels assume that guests will take items such as matches. it may be an indication of employee theft. The room attendant’s ability to spot missing item may allow the hotel time to charge the guest for items that have been taken. Other helpful ideas to reduce guest theft:      Use as few monogrammed items as possible. bathrobes. amenities. trash bins.  To reduce the theft of these items. and sewing kit. check local laws to ensure that the selected screening techniques are not illegal or prohibited.

The record should include the name of the room attendant and any other hotel employees who had access to the room. Keeping the area well-lighted reduces the temptation to steal and also makes the lot safer for employees who leave work after dark. Locks on storerooms should be changed periodically to reduce the opportunity of theft. closets. Employee entrance may include a security staff office which monitors arriving and departing employees. The employee parking area should not be so close to the building that it allows employees to easily and quickly transfer stolen property to their cars. Searches often include stairways. exit areas. In addition to keeping records of items in stock. employees are less likely to know their fellow workers. elevators. Restricting employee parking to a carefully selected area can also help control losses. trash containers. It may be helpful to take a flashlight to inspect areas with little light.including those from guestrooms. . records should be kept of stolen or missing items. and provided with round-the-clock security. ashtrays. Storerooms should be equipped with automatic closing and locking devices. These entrances should be well-lighted. If the hotel is large or has a very high turnover rate. he/she should be issued a signed permit from the supervisor or an appropriate manager before doing so.should be aware of the results of monthly inventories – especially when shortages are discovered. and window sills. Housekeeping’s role usually consists of helping in the search for any suspicious objects that could be bombs. Bomb Treats: Housekeeping procedures for handling bomb treats should be part of the property’s security manual. adequately secured. Keep all storeroom doors locked. In such cases. Management should designate employee entrances and exits. Employees should know what items they may bring onto or remove from the property. Information from the caller or letter may give clues on where personnel should search and on what type of bomb or object to look for. Management may establish a claim-checking system for bringing items onto the premises and a parcel-pass system for taking items off the premises. If an employee has permission to remove hotel property. Where and how the search is conducted will depend on the way the property received the bomb threat. identification badges may be required to prevent strangers who pose as employees to gain admittance to the property.

However. housekeeping employees should follow procedures to assist in rescue efforts. notify the person in charge of the search team or an appropriate supervisor immediately. Some fires may be caused by an accident or mechanical malfunction. It is very likely that a fire started by Class A combustibles could grow to include Class B and C materials. This is because many bomb threats are just that – threats. the hotel should follow the directions laid out by police personnel. guests are not notified when bomb threats are received. Generally. Quite often. it should not be touched or moved. The safety and security manual should include evacuation plans in case a bomb should actually be found or explode on the premises. Many hotel fires are fueled by a combination of combustibles. or beepers.Search team employees look for objects that are normally not found in an area. walkie. Notification is best done face-to-face or over the telephone. If a guest does ask an employee what he/she is doing during a search. It should also include provisions for emergency medical services. Housekeeping personnel have an advantage since their daily routines promote familiarity with many hotel areas. Fires start for many reasons. Mission: “To save lives and property” . Avoid using radios. all teams should regroup in a designated area. If nothing is found after completing the search. the employee should respond in a way that does not arouse unnecessary suspicion or fear. The local police should be notified of all bomb threats. An all-clear sign should be given after all search procedures have been performed and management is satisfied that the guests. In these instances. Fires: Fires are grouped into four classifications based on the different products of combustion. bomb threat emergency procedures should still be followed just in case it is a real emergency. If a suspicious looking object is found.talkies. employees. Some bomb devices are sensitive to these sound waves and may go off. and property are not under by real threat. If police respond to such calls. these procedures do not include notifying guests until a search is completed. Others may be the result of arson.

especially the exothermic oxidation of a combustible substance. fitness. persistent chemical change that releases heat and light and is accompanied by flame. Event:  The event is the intersection of the foregoing components. training (lack of training). proper application. and attitudes. Accident Prevention: An accident can be defined as the result of a series of events and conditions that lead to an unsafe situation resulting in injury and/or property damage. . surface conditions. Something or someone had to bring those components together in such a way to create the unsafe situation. and equipment limitations. It is described as a rapid. Injury:  Deals with the actual injury (or property damage) associated with the accident.Fire Behavior:  Burning. also called combustion. fatigue. lighting. a series of events and conditions that can lead to an accident. is a simple chemical reaction. and serviceability. and physical barriers. access.  Classifications:      Environment Human factors Equipment Event Injury Environment:  Included here are physical surroundings such as weather.  Accident chain. Equipment:  Included here are apparatus. A “near miss” or “close call” is an accident without injury or physical damage. maintenance. Human Factors:  This includes human and social behaviors.

 Raise the fire alarm promptly upon discovery of a fire. Well-planned actions for every emergency will surely achieve firefighting operations safely. keep an escape path open. adequate preparation is very much required. If you must enter a room to combat the fire. Close the door to confine the fire. If you enter a room and your attack with a portable extinguisher fails. get out immediately. Each side represented as essential ingredient for fire:    Heat Fuel Oxygen .  Know how to extinguish fire correctly with the use of portable extinguishers and other methods. Fire Triangle and Tetrahedron:  The combustion process was once depicted as a triangle with three sides. Regular training and drills are very necessary so that each member learns his duties and the order in which they must perform. A dead-end passageway could trap you. Safe Practices:  Smoke only at the designated area. Fight the fire with the wind or the wind coming from your back. To be successful in firefighting.Fire Safety Rules and Principles:             When you discover a fire. Never let the fire to get between you and the door. as this will cause electrocution. sound the fire alarm and summon help. When entering an enclosed space. Never pass the fire to get an extinguisher. there will be great possibility of suffocation because oxygen content of the room will be reduced to a minimum. Be curious enough to know all the shortest possible ways to escape from a fire zone to a safe place in order not to be trapped. see to it that the space is gas-free and with sufficient oxygen. Your knowledge of the situation will aid those responding. Never use foam and water on electrical fire. Never use and direct a solid stream of water on liquid fire as it will cause splashes and make the fire more difficult to handle. Smoke is a visible product of fire that aids to the problem of breathing. call out your discovery. One of the priorities that should be given due attention is the escape route. efficiently and effectively.  Know how to recognize fire hazards and to take the necessary steps to prevent fire. Rooms filled with thick smoke.

the fire will extinguish itself when the fuel supply is exhausted. Fuel – size of the fire will naturally depend on the amount of fuel available to burn.  Starting out as a spark or a small flame. Modes of Heat Transfer:  Heat is a by-product of combustion that is of significant importance to the fire fighter. liberate flammable gases. Several factors in the growth of fire:     Oxygen supply – the amount of oxygen will have a direct effect on the speed of growth and the size of the fire. the fire will begin to diminish in size. . Insulation – heat that is radiated back into unburned areas will accelerate growth. and ignite.  Ultimately. Decay Stage:  When the point at which all fuel has been consumed is reached. fire begins to grow. A large container would permit dissipation of heat and slow the growth of fire. it became evident that a fourth ingredient was necessary. the container would be the surrounding walls and obstructions. Fully Developed Stage:  This stage is recognized as the point in which all contents within the perimeter of the fire’s boundaries are burning. other combustibles heat up. As researched. That fourth element was the actual chemical combustion. spreading the chain reaction to other flammables and resulting in an increase in size. Container size – in a structure. Thus the name fire tetrahedron The Burning Process:  The process of burning occurs in clearly defined stages:     Ignition Growth Fully developed Decay Growth Stage:  From the point of ignition.

is fueled by metals. heat it up again. gasoline. zinc. The three modes by which heat transfers its energy from one substance to another are through:  Conduction  Convection  Radiation Conduction:  When a hot object transfers its heat. uranium. Combustibles such as paper. and with enough concentration. zirconium. lithium. and if intense enough. rubber and other organic solids including petro-chemical solids (plastics) make up this class. gases. will burn. alcohol. Class C type – are basically fueled by electricity. plutonium. air that is cooler than its surroundings sinks. or grease-type fuels.  The transfer could be to another object or to another portion of the same object. thorium. In this case. wood.    . Fire produces infrared light waves. hafnium. cause it to ignite. Class B type – are fueled by liquids. sodium. These light waves range from ultraviolet to infrared. Class D type – a less common fire type. Oil. cloth. the electricity is actually the heat source that propagates the fire and often communicates to other fuels of the class A or B type to sustain the burning process. which can be identified on the periodic table of the elements and found mostly in the alkali metal group. Convection:  Air that is hotter than its surroundings rises. titanium. A particular class of heavy metals. Radiation:    When combustion occurs. Most metals in the group are magnesium. conduction has taken place. rubber. can permit fire to jump from the source to a distant object. and potassium. Light travels by way of light waves. and other liquids are more common types found in this class of fuel. and calcium. light is produced. or plastic. Classes of Fire:  Class A type – made up of ordinary combustibles such as cellulose.

These extinguishers generally have no rating nor are they given a multi-purpose rating for use on other types of fires. In this case. the removal of fuel. Class C fires.    Fire extinguisher classification symbols:  Classes of fire should be identified primarily to determine the type of fire extinguisher that would be used. In this case. Class A fire extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper. gasoline. electricity. When enough of the heat is removed. In some cases. This class of fire extinguishers does not have a numerical rating. In other cases. is overcome by removal of the flow of electric current. Class B fire extinguishers should be used on fires involving flammable liquids such as grease. Fire extinguisher classification symbols are displayed by shape. oil. fueled by electricity. the application of smothering agent is used to prevent oxygen from getting to the fuel and propagating the chain reaction of fire by removing the oxygen leg of the fire pyramid.Fire Extinguishment:  Class A fire. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher states the approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a nonexpert person can expect to extinguish. Class B fires. the fire collapses due to a lack of oxygen. releasing heat and brilliant light. color and letter for flexibility of the user for better recognition. Class D fires. etc. identification and utilization. Class D fire extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. The application of water cools the fire by absorbing as water is converted to steam. the mere presence of water will cause a violent reaction. the mere presence of air will cause the reaction.      . combustible heavy metals differ somewhat in their reactions under fire. Each metal’s characteristics should be evaluated on its own merits. is extinguished by cooling the fire. Class C fire extinguishers are suitable for use on electrically energized fires. the temperature of the fire is lowered below the ignition temperature of the substance and thereby collapses the fire pyramid. The presence of the letter “C” indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive. is the action taken to break down the fire pyramid and put the fire out. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguishers refer to the amount of water the fire extinguisher holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish. There is no picture designator for Class D fire extinguishers.

3oC in 20 seconds.  Flame detectors – the flame detector is activated when it is hit by the varying infrared or ultraviolet rays from the flames. A – im the base of the flame Point the extinguisher nozzle of hose at the base of the flame S – queeze the lever This discharge the extinguishing agent. often long before open flames are visible. The smoke detector can therefore be activated before the actual outbreak of a fire.  Heat detectors (thermal contact) – is.  . Releasing the lever will stop the discharge S – weep from side to side Moving carefully toward the fire keep the extinguisher aimed at the base of the flame and sweep back and forth until the flames appear to be out. e.  Differential detectors – is activated by an abnormally rapid rise in room temperature. The alarm is usually activated when the room temperature rises to about 70oC.How to use fire extinguishers? P – ull the pin This unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher.g. affected by heat. Personal Protective Equipment:            Helmet Goggles SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) Coat and pants Boots Hood Gloves Radio Flashlight PASS Device (Personal Alert Safety System) Pocket tools Four Main Types of Automatic Fire Detectors: Smoke detectors – all fire emits smoke and gases. as the name implies.

he/she should be required to initial or . many times. Master keys are kept at the front desk for such emergency purposes.  The next level of master key is the section master. Master keys are separated into three levels of access. time and the name of the person who signed for a particular key. Housekeeping is primarily concerned with four categories of keys:     Emergency key Master key Storeroom key Guestroom key Emergency keys – open all doors in the property – even those that guests have double locked. Guestroom key – are those keys distributed to guests. This log should include the date. Key control also protects the property by reducing the possibility of guest and property theft. other locked areas such as the pool. If the guest has turned the dead bolt. Every time an employee receives or returns a master key. If the employee has rooms to clean on more than one floor or area. Some properties also keep an emergency key off the premises. master keys will not open the door. This type of key opens a single guestroom and. An inspector may be issued more that one key of this type because he/she may be required to inspect the work of more than one room attendant. he/she may need more than one floor key. The lowest level of master key is the floor key. These keys should be kept in a secure place.  Master key – also open more than one guestroom. Master keys can be used in emergency situations when it is vital for an employee to enter some or all areas of a hotel. in some cases. all housekeeping storage rooms. Most housekeeping personnel do not use emergency keys on a dayto-day basis. Guestroom keys are stored at the front desk when not in use. a room attendant is given this key to open the rooms he/she is assigned to clean. Distribution and use should occur only in emergency situations such as a fire or when a guest or employee is locked in a room and needs immediate assistance. The highest level is the grand master. This type of master key opens rooms in one area of a hotel.Key Control Proper key control procedures are important for guest security and privacy. Generally.  Key Control Procedures: A log can be used to monitor the distribution of master keys. This key opens every hotel room and. Floor keys typically open the storeroom for that floor – unless the room is specially keyed or is accessed by another master key.

In no instance should lost and found items be left in an unsecured spot such as on top of a room attendant’s cart. Master keys should never be left on top of a housekeeping cart. Finally. At smaller properties. An employee should never loan the key to a guest or to another employee. If no lock box is available. and by whom. time. The key should be returned to the front desk or placed in the lock box.sign the log. If a room attendant finds a room key in the hallway or public area. Key belts. the executive housekeeper or the front desk may assume this function. he/ she should immediately turn it over to the lost and found. In smaller properties. One employee per shift should be assigned to handle the lost and found as part of his/her job. the employee should politely explain the hotel’s policy and direct the guest to the front desk. the linen room clerk may handle the lost and found procedures. the linen room attendant distributes and secures the keys for the room attendants. in a guestroom or in an unsecured area. it is up to the management to decide how to dispose of the items . Room attendants are also responsible for retrieving guestroom keys if the guest leaves the key in the room. When an employee finds an item left behind by a guest. The log should also have space to record if and when the item was recovered by it owner. and secured after they have been turned over to the lost and found. the task may be delegated to the executive housekeeper or front desk personnel. In large properties. If a guest asks an employee to unlock a room. A log should be used to record the date. Lost and found items should be stored in an area that is secure and has limited access. room keys should be kept in a secured area – not on top of the cart – until returned to the front desk. wrist bands. a room attendant should never use a master key to open a room for a guest. the housekeeping department handles the lost and found function. Employees issued keys should keep the keys on their person at all times. the front desk should be notified immediately. Many hotels provide key lock boxes on the room attendant’s cart to store guestroom keys. All lost ad found property should be kept for at least 90 days. Tags may be numbered or used to identify the item. The room attendant who signed for the master key is the employee who is responsible for it and should never leave the property. where the item was found. Items should be tagged. or neck chains are recommended devices for keeping track of master keys. Lost and Found: Many times. If items are not claimed after 90 days. The person issuing the key should also initial or sign the log for each master key transaction. In large hotels. logged.

guests often point the finger at the room attendant if an item comes up missing from the guestroom. The guestroom door should also be checked to see that it is locked. or the front desk:        Guns or weapons of any kind Controlled substances or drugs Unauthorized cooking or unsafe electrical appliances Foul odors Unauthorized pets Ill guests Large amounts of cash or valuable jewelry When cleaning. Guestroom Cleaning: Security in guestroom areas is important to maintain for the safety of the guests and employees. Unfortunately. . snoop in dresser drawers or closets. he/she should lock the door on the way out. room attendants are instructed to clean around guest objects. If a guest wants to enter the room while the attendant is cleaning. the room attendant should always keep the door open and the cart rolled in front of the entrance to block access from the outside. Room attendants should respect guest property and should not open guest luggage or packages. If the guest does not have a key. If an employee must leave the room while cleaning. Many hotels donate unclaimed lost and found items to local charities. they should immediately contact their supervisor. the attendant should politely ask the guest his/her name and ask to see a room key. A room should never be left unattended with the door open. This ensures that the room being cleaned is that the guest’s room. After cleaning the room. all windows and sliding glass doors should be locked.properly. It is important to ensure that the lost and found policy of the hotel complies with local laws. room attendants must be extra careful when removing linens. Other favorite hiding places for guest valuables include the top of closets and under lamps. Some hotels even have a policy that forbids room attendants to move guest property. This procedure should be followed even if the employee is out of the room for only a few minutes. If room attendants notice any of the following while cleaning. In these instances. A guest should never be allowed to enter a room just to look around. the attendant should explain that this if the hotel’s policy and is enforced for the guest’s safety and security. security. Since guests sometimes hide valuables and belongings in pillowcases or between mattresses. Again. the attendant should tell him/her to contact the front desk.

Visitors of guests are required to register and to be discretely interrupted by the security guard for proper identification and to find out whom they are going to visit and the purpose of their visit. and others – and assets. Call the guest in his/her room and ask if the guest is familiar to him or if he/she is expecting a call from the caller. and park attendants have the opportunity to observe all the people who arrive at or depart from the premises. or whereabouts should not be        revealed to anyone unless advised to do so by the guest himself as when he is expecting a visitor. Front desk agents. room number. Front Office Security Functions  Providing security in a hotel means protecting people – guests. If you noticed a suspicious joiner leaving the room of a guest. guest’s identity.  Suspicious activities or circumstances involving a guest or a visitor can be reported to the hotel’s security department or a designated staff member. don’t give room number. All calls of house guest should be screened. an employee who is alert and careful can contribute to the overall guest’s safe and troublefree stay. . Ask for caller’s name and tell him that you will check if guest is registered or around. make it a policy to check with the guest for possible theft before allowing the joiner to leave the hotel. Joiners of guests are not allowed in the room unescorted especially from 10 PM to 6 AM. Screening of Guest’s Calls    Greet callers and offer assistance. When a caller asks for guest’s names.  A security program is most effective when all employees participate in the hotel’s security efforts.This is just one more reason for room attendants to be considerate of guest property and to protect the guest’s room for many possible thefts. Joiners who are suspects for robbery are held for investigation until cleared of their liability. Visitors entering guest’s rooms are monitored and their identification and time/ duration of visit is logged down by roving security. bell persons. door attendants. employees. Securing Guests Against Possible Threats and Losses  Inside the hotel. Make this part of the house rules. Front office personnel play a particularly important role. Advise all guests or visitors (especially foreigners) not to entertain people or transact business with unknown and suspicious persons. For most part.

however. some properties limit access to the lobby and reception area. employees tempted to steal may think twice since they realize the entry record may incriminate them. Closed circuit television can be an effective surveillance tool in multiple-entry properties. someone is stationed at the front desk at all times. Most lobbies are set up so the front desk agent can see the property’s entrances. In a small property. Report creation and other system functions should be controlled by operator identification and password security codes. An innkeeper has the responsibility to monitor and. don’t transfer the call to the guest. Proper equipment. escalators. when appropriate. If the hotel staff knows about the system’s capability. elevators. . There are two types of keys:   Mechanical key Electronic key Electronic locking system replaces traditional mechanical locks with sophisticated computer-based guestroom access devices. All employees should be trained to watch for suspicious people and situations. At registration. If guest does not know the caller and the latter appears to be a suspicious person. Surveillance and Access Control Although open to the public. it helps reduce employee theft. and stairways. Centralized electronic locking systems present an additional opportunity for improved security. a front desk agent may be the only staff member on the premises during late night hours. can enhance many surveillance functions. Go back to the caller and make an alibi. a front desk agent inserts a key or card into the appropriate room slot on the console to transmit its code to the guestroom door lock. Under such circumstances. Mirrors may be placed in strategic locations to aid visibility In many hotels. Many of these systems keep track of which keys or cards opened which doors – by date and by time. a hotel is a private property. A centralized electronic locking system operates though a master control console at the front desk which is wired to every guestroom door. Successful surveillance techniques typically rely on hotel personnel. and give the front desk agent the authority to dent admittance. to control the activities of people on the premises.

Robbery Front office and revenue center cashiers should comply with a robber’s demands and make no sudden movements or attempts to thwart the crime. floods. Emergency Procedures Hotel management should develop property-specific procedures for responding to emergencies such as fires. Nevertheless. Front office personnel usually will perform an important communications function in the event of medical emergencies. the local police or all three.Lost and Found The operation of a lost and found may be assigned to any of several departments. and states where it was found. he or she should immediately bring it to the attention of lost and found personnel. earthquakes. on what date. The front desk usually serves as the command center in the case of an emergency. Employees responsible for the items should ask the caller to provide a description of the item and to estimate where and when it was lost. as well as the guest’s name and address. an injury. These lists are generally kept at the front desk or in the switchboard area. Some properties require employees to complete a form that describes the item. All telephone calls about lost and found items should be directed to the department responsible for the lost and found function. guests. hospitals. Many hotels maintain lists of nearby physicians. and other medical professionals and facilities. Clear procedures should be developed for inquiries concerning lost and found items. and by whom. . as determined by management. most guests will contact the front desk when they attempt to locate missing belongings. When a hotel employee discovers a mislaid article. The employee should record this information. Lost and found personnel store the item until it is claimed by the owner or for the length of time designated by law. dentists. ambulance services. or even the death of a guest or employee. Lodging properties need to be prepared for the possibility of a serious illness. summoning on-premise security staff. and other emergency situations and procedures for medical emergencies and crimes including robbery within the property should also be considered.

the cashier and other employees who encounter a criminal should observe the person carefully. If it can be done without any danger. facial hair.Unexpected actions or a lack of cooperation by hotel personnel might prompt the robber to use a weapon. Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical hotel operations before they evacuate. Rescue and first aid duties for those employees who perform them. Names or regular job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan. keep hands in sight. mannerisms. complexion. The preferred means of reporting fire and other emergencies. Fire The front office is often responsible for monitoring fire alarms and alert systems. Cashiers should not do anything to jeopardize their lives or the lives of others. color and style of hair. Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation. Following the incident. noting physical characteristics such as weight. height. color of eyes. . clothing. Written plans for possible fire emergencies must include:       Emergency escape procedures and route assignments. dress. Employees should note the robber’s voice. tattoos. and the type of weapon he or she is carrying. and should not attempt to disarm the robber or use a weapon. and anything unusual. scars. Employees should also observe the robber’s direction of escape and the type and license number of any vehicle used. build. They should remain quiet unless directed to talk. the property should immediately notify the police.

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