From Card Access Systems to Professional Doormen: Security Essentials for Hoteliers
If you run or work in a hotel, then you’ll know that keeping guests and staff safe and secure is one of – if not the – top priority for any hotelier. Guests are unlikely to return if they feel that your hotel wasn’t properly secure, and it’s important that your staff feel safe at work too, especially late at night. Luckily, there are plenty of security methods that can keep your premises and clientele safe; from card access systems to CCTV and professional security guards on the door. If you want to know more about these security systems and how they can ensure your business is running to its full potential, see our guide to security essentials for hoteliers below.
Many hotels nowadays choose this more modern system of room entry, which is more secure than a traditional lock and key system. Hotel key cards work using a magnetic strip which carries a code specific to a certain room or door; this will then give the card holder access when swiped through the card reader.
In most cases, staff at reception will imprint a specific user number onto the card at check-in; this can also be set to work on a time limit so that it is only available to use until the guest’s checkout time. Some hotels may use a smart card access system instead; these work in a very similar way to magnetic strip cards, except the information is stored in a microchip rather than a magnetic strip.
Card access systems offer a high level of security, and it is very difficult for a third party to decode the data stored on the card as, in the majority of cases, this information is encrypted. Key cards are secure and highly convenient; taking up no more room than a credit card, and the information can be easily updated if the guest is to move rooms.
For any hotel that does still use a lock and key system; key tracking is an effective and secure way to keep track of who has access to where at all times. Also known as a key management system, most key tracking systems nowadays are electronic, and use a key box and electronic keypad to control who is allowed access to each key. This method is excellent when it comes to keeping your hotel secure, as you can control which members of staff have access to which keys by using different access codes depending on the seniority of staff.
A key management cabinet uses tracking technology inside each key fob to log when a key has been taken and returned, and by who. This allows management to see a list of which rooms are occupied at any one time, who issued the key and which keys are still in place. When cross checking with booking records this makes a simple and straightforward way to make sure no one has access to any hotel rooms when they shouldn’t.
A room safe is a standard addition to most hotel rooms, and giving your guests that extra level of security can work wonders when trying to attract return customers. Installing a safe in every room shows that you care about your guest’s safety and security, and it avoids any awkward questions about what happened should any of their belongings go missing. A room safe eliminates this, and provides a secure place for guests to store passports, money, jewellery, electronics and other valuables.
Hotel room safes are also easily programmed by the guests themselves, allowing them to choose and implement their own access code for extra peace of mind.
It’s important not to overlook your hotel’s car park when thinking about security essentials, and a safe and secure car park goes the extra mile to ensure that your guests feel safe at your establishment. Car park barriers help to control traffic flow for safer entry and exit to your hotel car park, and they can be access controlled using a keypad or card access system for even more security.
If you run a larger hotel which attracts a lot of vehicles, you could consider setting up a system where a valet parks the guest’s car initially, then key card access could be added as an extra to their room card, allowing them to securely come and go from the car park as they please.
Installing a CCTV system is one of the best things you can do to improve hotel security, lower crime rates and keep your hotel free of unauthorised guests. A CCTV system also not only improves security, but can be used to identify any staff or running issues, such as recording which time of day reception is the busiest and adding more staff on duty accordingly.
As a general rule, the main areas which should be protected by CCTV are your entrances, car park, reception areas, corridors and back service exits or stairs. Where you choose to monitor the CCTV footage often depends on the size of the hotel; smaller properties may choose to install the monitoring system behind the front desk, or for a larger chain hotel, you may require an additional security room manned by a trained team.
Hotel security or door staff work hard at protecting hotel guests, staff and the property itself from theft or harm. Having a skilled professional security guard on the premises offers a range of benefits, including limiting property damage, providing additional customer service, an emergency response point, a member of staff specifically to monitor CCTV footage, and offering a comforting presence for your guests. The presence of a security guard reassures guests that there is a trained member of staff on hand should the worst happen (such as violence or crime), and they help to keep the hotel staff safe too, especially if working late at night.
High-end hotels who attract guests such as celebrities or politicians should think about increasing both their physical security guard presence, and adding extra door locks or CCTV cameras if necessary.
A hotel’s online system naturally holds a lot of sensitive information, such as guests’ contact information and credit card details, so it’s vital that your hotel’s digital security is up to scratch. Keep online data safe and secure by ensuring internet security packages and firewalls are up to date, installing regular system updates and backing up all your files.
It’s also recommended that hotels use a cloud service to store data; this can be updated daily, with the addition of weekly and quarterly server backups. Passwords are important too; change them regularly and make sure you update them each time a member of staff leaves.
This type of door entry system is often used in apartment blocks as well as hotels, and it adds an extra level of security compared to standard intercom systems, as you can see a video image of the guest before granting entry. A video door entry system is a good option for smaller hotels which don’t have the resources for someone to be stationed at a reception desk 24 hours a day. A video entry system allows security guards or night staff to grant entry to any guests having trouble getting in, and it ensures that your staff won’t miss any important deliveries.
If you’re in need of professional security systems for your hotel, Campbell and McGovern have it covered. We offer a range of locksmith services, CCTV systems, access control, safes, master key systems and some of the best security cameras on the market. Whether you want to update your existing system or add new secure locks, we have everything you need. With additional car locksmith services and emergency 24/7 locksmith callout, you can rest assured that your staff or guests will never be caught short. For more information about any of our products or services, give us a call or visit our website today.