Much has been said lately about hotel room security and the technology used to keep our guests safe and secure while under our care. The topic’s been on the news, posted online, argued about in court, and in at least one case, has the potential to become a national security issue. So, as my first in a regular monthly series column, I decided to do a bit of research and find out how hotel room security compares to typical security at a guest’s home?
I went online to find out that the average time it takes to pick a home lock is between 5 and 30 seconds which I thought was pretty fast! Anyone with a credit card that will work can buy a nice set of lock picks that vary from $5 to $300 USD. Although one website insisted that I agreed not to use them in an illegal manner. Further research uncovered something called a “bump” key that you can either make (via YouTube Video with over 2 million views) or is easily purchased online that will allegedly open about 90 percent of home locks. With statistics like this, a home lock does not seem to be very useful.
During my career, I have probably spent between 3,000 and 5,000 nights sleeping in hotel rooms. Typically, there are security personnel on duty, cameras, emergency lighting and quite a few other factors in place that make me feel quite secure. While I have never had a dangerous experience in a hotel, I have had my home burglarized. So for me, I feel as secure at hotels as I do at my house.
As members of the hospitality industry, our goal is to offer a great experience. We advertise great food, service, comfortable accommodations, value and cutting edge technology. Our competitive edge also requires us to work harder because it sets us apart from the “home” experience. Another resource that we can provide our guests is a subtle reminder that hotels are primarily public places and that they should exercise some caution. Incorporating statements via staff training such as having the bellman mention to use the security latch when inside the room or reminding them to keep their room number confidential are great ways to help keep your property safe.
Technology is a great tool to have but it still takes a human touch to maximize it…at least so far!
Frank Wolfe, CAE is the CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and an inductee into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame. He often speaks on hospitality technology through the GUESTROOM 20X program. Follow him on Twitter @frankwolfe.
Original article was featured in the February issue of the Hotel Management Magazine. Reprinted from the Hotel Management Managzine with permission from http://www.hotelmanagement.net.