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Security as a condition is the degree of resistance to, or protection from, harm.
It applies to any vulnerable and valuable asset, such as a person, dwelling, community,
nation, or organization.
Establishing or maintaining a sufficient degree of security is the aim of the work, structures,
and processes called "security."
Concept in Hotel
It is the moral and legal responsibility of a hotel to protect its guests and their property
against threats posed by human beings with a conscious intent to harm them.
The security department of the hotel is responsible for the overall security of the building, in-
house guests, visitors, day users, and employees of the hotel.
Security? Why?
Hotel guests want to feel safe and secure in their temporary home. Hotels have a duty to
protect them. After all, the business depends upon them.
Apart from the possibility of death or injury and destruction, the adverse publicity from an
incident, can result in ruined reputations, failing business and knock-on effects to tourism in
the country or region.
The risk to hotels can also increase because of the identity of an individual guest or his or her
family. VIPs, celebrities or the infamous can present special difficulties.
Hotel staff may not even become aware of risks that some guests may bring with them.
Consequently a hotel must be vigilant at all times.
What are the risks?
Examples of Risk
Robbery by organized crime
Opportunist robbery
Burglary from rooms
Baggage theft
Invasion of guest privacy, by locals, press, interest groups
Poor Hotel Security
The use of technology, has greatly impacted how criminals can target hotels.
For instance, instead of visiting a hotel to collect many pieces of information, a criminal can
now scan the Internet pulling up specifics about room numbers, location to other areas of
interest, the leadership team and photos of critical areas in the property.
Using applications like Google Earth, a criminal can diagram the structure and their escape routes.
Possibility of death
The adverse publicity from an incident
Result in ruined reputations
Failing business and knock-on
Effects to tourism in the country or region.
The risk to hotels can also increase because of the identity of an individual guest or his or her
VIPs, celebrities or the infamous can present special difficulties.
Easy terrorist attacks
Effective Hotel Security
Now since we know what could be the consequences, it is always better to prevent it than
curing it.
Sometimes some things may be irreplaceable and it is always preferable to avoid such
In order to avoid such circumstances, an effective hotel security program is formulated in the
hotel organization.
An effective hotel security programs enables the hotel to avoid preventable incidents and
react to a quick, appropriate manner.
Three basic elements should be included in the program.
1. People
2. Procedure
3. Equipment
Effective Hotel Security Programs
No matter which department or post everyone can contribute in making the hotel a safe place
for all.
This is not only the concern of the security department.
Every property needs to have procedures for the staff to follow. The staffs should be well
informed about the emergency procedures as well as any unusual events.
Simple safety equipment to state-of-the-art security surveillance system all help make
today's hotels a safer and better place to be.

Organizational Structure
The organization of the security department includes the chain of command or hierarchy
from executive down to the front line.
The purpose of this section is to make clear who reports to whom and who has which
This gives a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities along with all the answers
regarding what are the limitations within the position and the line of authority,
responsibilities and accountability.
The organizational structure depends upon the following criteria:
1. Division of work
2. Span of Control
Division of Labor:
The division of labor refers to narrow specialization of tasks within a process so that each
employee can become a specialist in doing one thing.
The degree of division of labor depends on the degree to which performance of particular
tasks is measureable, the degree to which wages affect task performance, and the
implementation of technology.
Span of Control
Span of Control in an organization is defined as the number of employees reporting directly
to one supervisor.
Traditionally, the span of control has been defined as four to seven subordinates under one
The average size of the span of control, together with the total number of employees,
determine the number of levels in an organization structure.
In a large organization there is one head and a sub head. It is ideal to have a manager at the
senior middle level so that one manager can take care of personnel/ operational side and the
director can take the administrative or Investigative side. The director is still the highest
authority but it saves a position.
The above mentioned positions can be skipped entirely if the organization is small to
medium. In such case supervisors or shift managers can be allocated depending upon the
number of frontline staffs.
The ideal proportion of supervisor to officer is 1:5, if there are 10 officers in a shift or team,
there should be 2 supervisors.
V.A Graicunas developed the term Span of Control in 1933 when he researched the
effectiveness of varying management ratios. He determined that there were several factors,
such as the physical location of the employees (whether they worked together or separately),
personalities, types of work performed, and the capabilities of the employees.
The ratio was found to be acceptable at 4 employees to 1 supervisor all the way to 22:1
depending on those factors. Police departments operate at about 4:1 and the fire departments
operate at about 3:1.
Later after the introduction of the new technology, Computer and other automation system
took away some of the duties of supervisors and managers.
1. To stress the importance of keeping hotel guests and employees safe.
2. To identify a variety of internal and external resources available to help hoteliers meet their
safety and security goals
3. To describe the safety threats that are unique to the hotel industry
4. To stress the importance of property security
5. Know different measures in emergency situations that occur in the hospitality industry.

The Importance of Safety

Safety: protection of an individuals physical well-being and health.
Security: protection of an individual or business property or assets.
Employers have a duty of care to provide a place of work that is safe and without risk to
The hotel can be held legally responsible for the results of injury to guests and employees if
it does not exercise reasonable care.
Legal Liability
Reasonable Care: a legal concept identifying the amount of care a reasonably prudent person would
exercise in a specific situation.
Damages: the actual amount of losses or costs incurred due to the wrongful act of a liable party.
Compensatory Damages: a monetary amount intended to compensate injured parties for actual
losses or damage they have incurred.
Punitive Damages: a monetary amount assessed to punish liable parties and to serve as an example
to the liable party as well as to others not to commit the wrongful act in the future.
Hotel Responsibilities for Guest Safety
To demonstrate reasonable care, a hotel must address:
1. The hotels facility
2. The hotels staff
3. Policies and procedures implemented by the hotel
The management and staff of the hotel should develop and maintain an active threat analysis.
Threat Analysis- a systematic procedure designed to identify and eliminate identifiable
safety risks.
It is an organized procedure by which a hotel facility is assessed for possible hazards
Steps in demonstrating commitment to reasonable care/guest safety:
Identifying and removing threats to safety
Informing guests about existing safety threats
Prohibiting behavior that creates safety threats
Public and external areas- defective lighting, cracks in sidewalk, trash on walking surface
Example of possible hazards
Swimming pool without lifeguards
Signage can be developed to communicate the risk and must be placed in
highly visible place
Possible wording alternatives:
Swim at your own risk
No lifeguard on duty
Adult swimmers only
Children must be supervised by an adult
No running or diving
Staff Training
OSHA: the Occupational Safety and Health Administrationresponsible for developing and
enforcing regulations to help assure safe and healthful working conditions.
Guest safety is important, but the safety of employees when they work is equally important.
OSHA is a federal agency established in 1970 that is responsible for developing and enforcing
regulations related to assuring safe and healthful working conditions.
The purpose of OSHA is to help assure safe and healthful working conditions.
It is also very aggressive in enforcing the rights of workers.
Hotels are required to comply with the extensive safety practices, equipment specifications,
and employee communication procedures mandated by OSHA.
OSHA requirements call upon employers to:
Provide a safe workplace for employees by complying with OSHA safety and health
Provide workers only with tools and equipment to do their jobs that meet OSHA
specifications for health and safety.
Establish training programs for employees who operate dangerous equipment.
Report to OSHA within 8 hours any work site accident that results in fatality or
requires the hospitalization of five or more employees..
Provide all employees an access to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that
provide information about the dangerous chemicals they may be handling during
A written statement describing the potential hazards of, and best ways to handle a chemical
or toxic substance.
An MSDS is provided by the manufacturer of the chemical or toxic substance to the buyer of
the product and must be posted and/or made available in a place where it is easily accessible
to those who will actually use the product.
Policies and Procedures
Will vary by operation based upon:
Hotel size
Guest amenities offered
Standardized, written policies are still important to ensure employee/guest safety.
Incident Report
Incident Report - a document prepared to record the details of an accident, injury, or disturbance
and the hotels response to it.
Special Safety-Related Threats
Swimming Pools
Exercise Facilities
Parking Areas
Post the pools operational hours and open the pool only during those hours.
Clearly mark the depths of pools accurately and in both metric measure and in feet/inches.
Make sure that the pool is properly illuminated
Install self-locking door to prevent unauthorized access to the pool area
Have appropriate lifesaving equipment on hand and easily accessible, as well as atleast one
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certified employee on duty at all times or as long as the
pool is open.
Allow pool use by registered guests
Post all pool policy and information signs in the language of guests.
Provide an emergency telephone in the pool area that rings directly to the front office
Carefully document all pool activities related to pool maintenance
Inspect and document the inspection of spa drain covers on a daily basis.
Post all spa policy signs in the language(s) of guests.
Install a thermometer and check the spa temperature frequently; recording your readings. A
range not to exceed 102-105 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9-40.6 degrees Celsius) is
Display spa temperatures in a manner that is easily readable by guests.
Do not allow the consumption of alcohol while using the spa.
Install non-slip flooring surfaces around the spa and provide stairs/ladders for entry and exit.
Prohibit spa use by children and non-guests.
Provide an emergency telephone in the spa area that rings directly either to the front desk or
to 911 depending on the preference of the hotels insurer.
Carefully document all activities related to spa maintenance, local ordinance compliance, and
operating policy enforcement
Exercise Facilities
Signs act as a constant reminder of the dangers inherent to exercise facilities. In general, signs
can be classified into four types:
Policy Signs Signs stating rules and regulations involving the use of the facility.
Warning Signs Signs stating specific risks in an area of the facility or with a
particular piece of equipment.
Directional Signs Signs indicating entrances, exits, fire evacuation plans, and other
safety information.
Emergency Signs Signs indicating where various emergency items are stations, such
as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and telephones.
Parking Areas
Inspect parking lot lighting on a daily basis. Arrange for replacement of burned out lights
Inspect parking lot surfaces daily and arrange for pavement patches immediately if they
threaten guest safety.
Ensure that parking lot stripes and directional signs are easily seen to avoid
pedestrian/vehicle accidents.
Post easily readable signs in the parking lot reminding guests not to leave valuables in their
If valet parking is provided, document the training of all drivers employed.
Require guests to identify their vehicles by license number or make/color upon check-in.
Keep landscaping around parking lots well-trimmed to avoid dangerous areas that may
provide hiding places for individuals who could threaten guest safety or property security.
If possible, arrange for regular and frequent parking lot drive-through patrols by local law
enforcement officials.
Arrange for daily daytime and nighttime walk-through patrols by hotel staff.
Use a managers daily log to document parking lot maintenance procedures.
Regardless of location, potential emergencies include:
Bomb threats
Power Blackouts
Depending on location, other emergencies could include:
Risk Management - The process of analyzing exposure to risk and determining how to best handle
such exposure.


Steps during armed hold-up
1. Stand still-do not make any sudden moves
2. Obey the robbers instruction-do exactly what you are told.
3. Remain calm and quiet-speak only when spoken to. Avoid shouting or provoking the robbers.
4. Observe, if you can, safely- make a mental note on the robbers appearance.
5. Stay out of the danger area-do not try to outsmart them.
6. Stay where you are, do not chase-leave it to the police, observe the direction of departure
7. Call the police- when it is safe, call the police.
8. Seal off the hold-up area- evidence must not be touched.
9. Ask witness to remain-the person in-charge should ask all witness to stay until the police arrive.
A document describing a hotels pre-determined, intended response to a safety/security
threat it may encounter.
An emergency plan must be a written document. It is important because it must identify what
management or employees should do in case of crisis.
Identify types of disasters that may occur, including natural disasters (hurricane, tornado,
Provide a layout of the current hotel floor plan.
Identify who should be notified for each emergencies, and what method will be used.
Establish specific duties and responsibilities of key individuals.
Establish emergency shut down procedures for designated parts of the building.
Develops evacuation routes, including directional signs both in the hotel and the emergency
shelters, and from exterior areas of the building to safe areas.
Identify locations of secure shelters based on the type of emergency.
Prepare a systematic floor evacuation plan for high-rise building.
Secure participation by and cooperation with mutual aid organization.
Hotel Emergency Procedures
All hotels are required by law to provide their guests with a list of specific emergency procedures.
Because one of the most common emergency situation in a hotel is a fire, emergency procedures
typically include:
A detailed map of the floor and an outline of the route to the closest exit.
Emergency preparedness also includes a list of what to do once you've evacuated the
hotel as well as what to do in the event that you're prevented from evacuating.
Hotels often post a room-specific evacuation map at the back of the door to each room. The
nearest exit is marked, as are all other exits on the floor in case the closest one is blocked.
Hotels that don't put individualized maps in each room are required by law to provide general
floor plan maps.
Front desk staff may highlight the nearest stairwells and exits to a guestroom on a paper copy.
Emergency evacuation procedures begin by moving to exit when an alarm sounds, even if you
suspect it's a drill.
Before opening the door, you should feel it for heat and look for smoke coming underneath
the door.
Barring any smoke or flames, hotel procedures dictate that you should exit via the safest,
shortest route possible. If there's heavy smoke, you should stay low to the ground.
Never use elevators during an emergency evacuation; they may become stuck. Also, the fire brigade
may need to use the elevators to assist people.
Trapped During Fire
Emergency procedures for becoming trapped in an area or room inside a hotel begin by first
closing as many doors as possible between you and the fire and then sealing the area by
placing water-soaked towels and sheets over all vents and door cracks.
Use the phone, if it works, to call 9-1-1 and report the fire and your location in the building.
Hanging a sheet or a noticeable item of clothing from the window signals your location,
whether or not you're able to use the phone to call for help.
Breaking windows or opening them more than a few inches can invite flames and smoke from
other openings inside. Fresher air is always near the floor, so protocol dictates that you stay
In addition, placing a wet cloth over your mouth and nose helps you breathe better in a smoky
Fire Alarm
Should an alarm occur, hotel associates will conduct a rapid investigation of the alarms cause.
Please remain calm and listen for instructions over the public address system. Trained hotel
staff will advise all guests of the nature of the alarm and any actions that needs to be taken.
In the rare event that a hotel evacuation is requested; follow the evacuation map that is
located at the back of your guest room door. Take your guest key and leave the room. Do not
use the elevators. Walk to the closest stairway and leave the hotel.
If you are in a function room or food and beverage outlet, proceed directly to the nearest Emergency
Exit and exit the building.

Things to remember during accident investigation

Let the injured party tell the story
Take the injured party back to the scene of the accident
Determine what the injured party was doing just before and at the time of the accident
Although verbal reenactment of the accident can be valuable, never allow anyone to repeat
an unsafe act physically
Avoid placing or accepting blame
General Safety Information
Never tell a stranger your room number.
When checking into your room, take time to study the evacuation map at the back of the guest
room door and note the location of the nearest emergency stairwell.
Do not admit unexpected visitors into your room without first making identification. A view
portal is provided in your door. If there are any doubts about the persons true identity, please
contact security.
Guard your room key or access card. Don't set the key or card down in a visible location when
you're at a hotel pool or a dining room.
Do not leave your room door open when carrying baggage into or out of the room or when
using vending machines.
Do not leave valuables unattended in common areas of the hotel.
If you must leave valuable items in your room, use the guest room safe.
Don't hesitate to ask a hotel employee to accompany you to your room.