Staying overnight in another location can be unnerving if you are by yourself and in an unfamiliar place, so what can hotels do to ensure their guests feel safe? Jamie Roberts, copywriter at Mediaworks, shares his thoughts from the benefits of enhanced CCTV and why hotels need a clear response plan.
There are many factors to think about if you run a hotelier business. There will be many different ways to allow your establishment to stand out from the crowd, all depending on which market you are tapping into. One of the main ways to discover this is by conducting thorough research of properties in your area and seeing what has worked for them.
By discovering your target audience, you’ll be able to plan how to make the biggest return on your investment. Another key aspect to discover if you’re to be successful is to figure out your unique selling point. However, one point that will be similar across every hotel is how to keep your guests safe. Here, we look at ways you can ensure your hotel is safe:
A great way to instil confidence in your guests is by installing cameras throughout your building. It’s important to note, however, that simply having a surveillance system won’t cut it. You must make sure there is someone always monitoring your set-up. One way to do this is by outsourcing to a third-party company. In some systems, you can also use a voice command which allows you to quickly warn any wrongdoers if you catch them in the act.
Although staff uniforms should be a given, it’s crucial that you provide corporate uniform. Doing so can mean much more than just having a team that look the part. It can also work to give guests a clear view of who they can approach if they have a query. It also allows you to keep an easy eye on who is meant to be in private areas of your business. It’s essential that members of staff are clearly visible in guest areas as this shows that you have the safety of your guests covered thanks to patrolling staff members.
Have a clear emergency response plan
Your staff must know their individual roles in the event of an emergency. There should be regular meetings with emergency services and law enforcement officers. This will allow you to feel confident that a good communication plan is in place and you’re able to update it when required.
“We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes,” said Aneil Handa, director of the Cairn Collection.
“It’s crucial to keep on top of all methods your business is using as safety is such a huge part of the hospitality industry.”
It’s also important that your gas mains and appliances are checked periodically. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that it’s essential to organise gas safety checks each year for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation. This also includes any that are sited away from the guests’ rooms.
Training your staff on how to use the gas appliances is also recommended. This will help them be able to spot obvious faults such as damaged pipework and connections. Although any new installations in your business have to be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, a LPG gas cylinder or hose can be changed by anyone once they are competent to do so.
It’s also imperative that you have a carbon monoxide and dioxide alarm fitted. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.
It’s crucial to have a regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) compiled if you run a hotel or a guest house. As your business is always running, it’s clear that your systems will be subjected to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. By obtaining this report from a qualified electrician, you will be able to prove that each electrical appliance in your building is fit for purpose.
If you carry these checks out on a regular basis, you will limit any liable risks, such as electric shocks, fires, and accidents.
Of course, safety doesn’t only just come in the physical form. Recently, hotels have become a main target for cyber-attacks. A report by PwC indicated that the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches. In fact, most of the prominent hotels in the industry have been victims of security breaches.
You can reduce potential risks and keep your important information safe by planning in regular system updates. It’s also wise to make backing up your data a habit. This way, you’ll avoid the risk of losing it. A cloud service is one recommended strategy. You should also plan weekly server backups, and follow up with server backups every quarter, and then yearly backups.
Password security is also an important safety barrier in the same way it would be on any personal device. You should change it on a regular basis, including as soon as any staff member leaves.
It’s crucial to keep on top of all methods your business is using as safety is such a huge part of the hospitality industry. If you follow the steps laid out above, the you should have a great platform in which to keep your guests as safe as possible.