SAFETY & SECURITY
Safety pertains to the things such as disasters, emergencies, fire prevention and protection. It also includes the prevention of injury or any sort of damage to property.
On the other hand, security is the freedom from fear, anxiety and doubts concerning human as well as protection against thefts of guest, employee or hotel property.
Three “E” of Safety
Employees should be encouraged to come up with ideas for inculcating safety into hotel methods because safety programs and policies are only effective when practiced accordingly. Proper training should be provided to each staff.
Teaching safe method, with emphasis on areas of potential danger and how they can be guarded.
Demonstration of use of safety equipment
Ability to recognize the sign of hazard around them.
Teaching legal implication of non-adherence to safety procedure.
It is done in the designing phase of the establishment. Generally, equipment, furniture and fittings are allocated the space in accordance with the safety measures.
Safety Rules Enforcement
Rules are not meant only to be made. Proper implementation and following the rules become quite necessary. Motivation and enforcement are to be ensured.
Safety Awareness and Accident Prevention
Safety awareness should be an ongoing program at all establishments. Various laws and rules for ensuring the safety in the establishments have been devised out by the Government. Safe work environments and safety of the employees should be taken care by the Management.
In order to raise AWARENESS, following points should be kept in mind:
All employees should be well aware of the potential hazards in their respective department.
H.O.D. should ensure that employees follow safe job procedures, correct unsafe conditions immediately and do not work in hurry to avoid accidents.
Housekeeping Safety Manual enlisting safety rules should be prepared.
Basic Guidelines for the Prevention of Accidents
Prevention is better than cure. If we prevent accidents to happen, then it becomes easy for us to provide the maximum efficiency during work.
Following guidelines should be following in order to prevent accidents:
Always follow instruction while using any cleaning equipment.
Replace cap on cleaning chemicals immediately and securely after dispensing.
Label cleaning agents clearly.
Keep floors clean and dry.
Place warning signs around the area while cleaning.
Always dry hand before touching any electrical pieces of equipment or wiring.
Clean away broken glass carefully.
Mark faulty equipment as ‘OOO’ ( Out Of Order )
Dispose off rubbish carefully.
Never place sharp objects or cigarette butts in trash bags.
Action in case an accident occurs
An accident may happen anywhere, anytime with either the guest or employees. Following preventing measures can be used:
With the help of another person, check if the victim requires any assistance.
Report the matter immediately to the manager concerned.
Either administer First-Aid or get help from trained personnel.
Transport the victim immediately to a hospital if required.
Fill in the accident report form.
Accident Report Form
The housekeeping staff needs to know various types of fires and fire extinguishers. The staff must be trained to handle small fires.
Fire is classified into the following types −
Class A − Class A fire consists of ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, trash or anything else that leaves ash behind. It needs water under high pressure to extinguish this fire.
Class B − This fire occurs in inflammable liquids such as oil and grease and needs blankets or sand to extinguish.
Class C − This fire occurs in electrical equipment. Use of non-conductive agent is required for extinguishing this fire.
Class K − Class K Fires are fires that involve cooking oils, grease or animal fat and can be extinguished using Purple K, a typical agent found in kitchen or galley extinguishers.
Prevention of Fire
Fires may be prevented if fire hazards are identified & eliminated. Some unsafe practices that may lead to fires are as follows:
Guests smoking in bed.
The hotel not providing sand urns or sufficient & appropriate ashtrays in rooms as well as public areas.
Using high-wattage light bulbs in lamps.
Leaving linen chute doors open.
Storing rags & cloths with residues of cleaning polish still on them.
Not unplugging electrical appliances when not in use.
Using faulty electrical equipment or sockets.
Leaving magnifying glasses where the sun can catch them.
Using furnishing materials that are easily combustible.
Each establishment must conduct fire drills on a periodic basis & ensure that all staff attends these drills so that they know what is to be done during a fire emergency.
Fire Warning System
These may be electrically powered manually operated systems, automatic fire detection system, or a combination of both. The usual components of these systems are discussed here:
Fire alarms: These can be set off by smoke detectors, heat detectors, sprinkler systems, or pull stations. The most common types of fire alarms are the ones operated by pull stations located in corridors, lobbies, & near elevators.
Sprinklers: These are found in most hotel establishments, especially in corridors & rooms. They are situated on the ceiling & automatically spray water when the temperature rises above a certain level.
Smoke detectors: These are set off by smoke. The two types of smoke detectors available are photoelectric detectors & ionization detectors. Photoelectric detectors are alarms triggered off when smoke blocks a beam of light emanating from the detector. In the ionization type of detector, the alarm sounds when the detector senses a shift in electrical conductivity between two plates.
What to do in case of Fire Emergency
In case a fire breaks out, follow the guidelines given below:
Immediately switch on the nearest fire alarm.
If possible, attack the fire with suitable equipment, remembering to direct the extinguishers at the base of the flames. Do not attempt to fight a fire if there is any danger of personal risk.
Close windows & switch off all electrical appliances, including fans & lights.
Close the door to that affected area & report to your immediate supervisor for instructions.
Carry out instructions
Remain at the assembly point until instructed to do otherwise.
Do not use the lifts.
Staff should be trained in operating the fire-fighting equipment. Types of fire-fighting equipment vary from simple ones such as buckets of sand & water, fire blankets, & hose reels to more complex fire extinguishers. Water buckets should be constantly checked for adequate water levels & sand buckets should be kept dry. Water should not be used in case of fire involving electricity.
Types of fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers can be of various types:
Dry powder: These are usually meant for multipurpose use with various types of fire. They contain an extinguishing agent & use a compressed, non-flammable gas as a propellant.
Dry chemical foam: These are primarily used on flammable liquids, oils, & fats, but may have the multipurpose use.
Halon/vaporizing liquid: These contain a gas or volatile liquid that interrupts the chemical reaction that takes place when fuel burns. This type of extinguisher is often used to protect valuable electrical equipment as they leave no residue to clean up & have a limited range up to 4-6 feet.
Water-gas or soda-acid extinguishers: These extinguishers contain water & compressed gas & should only be used for Class A fires.
Carbon dioxide: These CO2-based extinguishers are most effective on Class B & C (liquids & electrical) fires. Since the gas disperses quickly, these extinguishers are only effective from a distance of 3-8 feet. The carbon dioxide is as a compressed liquid in the extinguisher; as it expands on release, it cools the surrounding air.
Most fire extinguishers available are rated according to the type of fire they extinguish:
Class A extinguishers
Put out the most basic fires, such as those that started with wood or paper. Their numerical rating refers to both the amount of water inside & the extent of the fire they can extinguish.
Class B extinguishers
These types are recommended for use with fires that involve flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, or grease. The numerical rating refers to the number of square feet of liquid fire that the average untrained person can expect to put out using this equipment.
Class C extinguishers
These are of electrical fires. They do not have numerical ratings; it is the ‘C’ designation that shows that the extinguishing agent inside is non-conductive.
Class D extinguishers
These are for use with flammable metals & are often made for use with a specific metal. They do not have numerical ratings, nor can they be used on the other types of fires.
It is imperative that all properties have a crime prevention committee or a security committee. The committee should consist of key management personnel, including department heads. Supervisors & other selected employees can also be roped in for valuable information & inputs. The committee members should meet on a scheduled basis periodically to review past plans & form new ones. The general responsibilities of this committee should be to
Design a security booklet for all employees.
Develop orientation & training programs on crime prevention in coordination with the training department.
Analyze & resolve recurring security issues & investigate any security-based incidents.
Conduct spot security checks & inspections of the property.
Liaise with the local police department.
Monitor the keeping of records & documentation of all security-related incidents.
An emergency is any unplanned event that can cause death or injuries to faculty, staff, students, or the public, or that can shut down business, disrupt operations, cause physical or environmental damage, or can threaten the institution’s financial standing or public image. There are set procedures for dealing with emergencies which should specify:
What procedures are to be followed.
Who will be responsible? Employee duties and placements.
How the procedures will be followed
When the specified procedures should be followed. When should the guests be notified of a bomb threat, when the evacuation process should be initiated.
Planning for an Emergency
Emergency resources: names and telephones number of an outside agency.
Emergency checklists: each dept head should develop a checklist outlining the actions that he/she must have to take in the case of an event.
First aid training.
Dealing with Bomb Threat
1. Remain calm
Without letting the caller know, try to alert another staff member that this is a bomb threat so this person can notify security officer and request a phone trace. Attempt to keep the caller on the line as long as possible using following techniques.
2. Ask or note the following:
a. When is the bomb going off?
b. Where is the bomb located?
c. What does the bomb look like?
d. What kind of bomb is it?
e. Did the caller place the bomb?
f. Why was the bomb placed?
g. Who is the caller (man, woman, child)?
h. The exact wording of the bomb threat.
i. Was there an accent, background noise, etc.?
j. Time the call was received.
3. If you believe there is an immediate threat of a bomb explosion, pull the fire alarm, evacuate the facility and contact security dept.
4. Share your information with the security officer.
5. Return to the building only after being given the “all-clear” sign by the officer.
Dealing with Earthquake
1. If you are inside a building, take cover under a desk or table or under a doorway and hold on.
2. Stay away from windows or anything that could fall.
3. If outdoors, stay away from buildings, utility lines, and streetlights.
4. When shaking stops, evacuate the building. Assist people with disabilities.
5. Follow the instructions of emergency officials when present.
6. Proceed with any necessary cleanup and recovery of items if it is safe to do so and allowed by authorities.
Dealing with Death
1. Call or contact the HOD of your dept.
2. Clear the area of the scene.
3. Secure the scene and do not touch or move anything.
4. Assist in directing emergency personnel to the scene.
5. Do not give out any information to the media.
6. Contact the Associate Director for Facilities.
7. The Associate Director will contact Employee Assistance as needed for a post-crisis meeting for any other employees affected by the situation.
Dealing with the Explosion
Assess the situation to determine the risk of additional explosions.
If no apparent risk exists, use a fire extinguisher to put out any small fires.
If a risk exists, activate the nearest fire alarm.
Assist everyone in the area to get out.
Close doors and windows behind you to contain the problem.
Call security to report the explosion.
Keep upwind (keep the direction from which the wind is blowing) of the explosion.
Handle any medical emergencies.
Report the explosion to your supervisor.
Dealing with the Fire
If you smell smoke or see fire:
1. If the fire appears controllable, try to extinguish it by using an available fire extinguisher. Attempt this for no longer than 30 seconds.
2. If the fire appears difficult to control, call for help of the security members.
3. Put on the fire alarm and assist persons with disabilities.
4. Do not use elevators.
5. Survey people outside for injuries and information about people who might still be in the building. 6. Do not re-enter the building until the all-clear signal is given by security personnel.