Updated: Jan 28
Importance of security systems
It is a hotel’s responsibility to protect the guests, employees and their properties. Hotels
have a team of security staff who look after safeguarding the entire property. The
responsibilities of the security team include - patrolling the property, monitoring surveillance
equipment, and ensuring that the guests, visitors and employees are safe and secure.
The security personnel should be trained to handle situations like - vandalism, terrorist
attack, bomb threat, fire in the hotel, etc. Safety awareness should be an ongoing
programme in all establishments. Periodic training should be given to all employees in order
to raise awareness about safety.
The front office department also plays a key role in maintaining the hotel's safety. Being the
first point of contact, the front office personnel have to deal with not only guests but also
vendors, visitors and delivery people. The front office employees, like door attendants,
parking attendants, bell boy and receptionists observers all the people who are entering or
leaving the hotel premises. If they notice any suspicious activity or circumstances, they
should immediately report the same to the security personnel.
Hotels provide safe deposit lockers to guests where they can keep their cash, jewellery and
important documents safely. Hotels mostly have in-house safe deposit lockers. These
lockers can only be opened with a single key. Some hotels have a separate locker room,
where a locker facility is provided to guests on paying a nominal charge or no charge
depending upon the hotel’s policy. Simultaneous use of two keys is required to open the safe
deposit locker - one is provided to the guest and one remains at the front office.
The entire process will be carried out in two steps -
1. Issue of locker - where an empty safe deposit locker is provided to guests upon filling
of safe deposit box registration card.
2. Surrender of locker - where the guest surrenders the locker key to the front office
staff after signing the acknowledgement that he has received all the items from the
The keys must be kept in safe custody to ensure the safety and security of guest belongings.
Hotels may have a Hard-key system or an Electronic-key system. When the Hard-key system
is used, the guest should be instructed to deposit the keys at the reception while going out
from the hotel premises. The key tag is purposely made heavy and large, making it
inconvenient for the guests to carry it. When an electronic-key system is used, a fresh key is
produced for every guest on his / her arrival. The door lock combination can be changed if
required. Key control sheets are maintained by front desk employees to keep a check on guest
There are three types of room keys -
1. Emergency Key / Grandmaster Key - This key opens the door locks of all the guest
rooms, even if they are double locked. It also double-locks the room against all other
keys. Hence the emergency key should be well-protected and only be used in the
time of emergency. This key must be kept under the control of the head of the property.
2. Master Key - This key opens all those guest room door locks that are not double
locked. The master key is under the control of the executive housekeeper of the hotel.
3. Guest Room Key - This key opens the lock of an individual guest room. Guest room
keys are under the control of the front desk and are issued to guests during check-in.
(Accident, illness, theft, fire, bomb)
There are many unforeseen situations that may occur in a hotel during day-to-day operations.
The hotel staff should be well-trained to handle these emergency situations. The various types
of emergency situations that may arise are:
An accident is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance. An accident may happen
due to one of the following reasons:
1. Excessive haste - An accident may occur when a person is in excessive haste when he
overlooks the safety rules or obstacles at that time. For eg: When a GRA is in a hurry while
making a room, he may ignore an object and may meet with an accident.
2. Carelessness - Carelessness while performing duties may also lead to an accident. For eg: if a
bellboy is careless with the luggage, he may trip and fall.
3. Anxiety - An anxious person is always worried about something which results in a lack of
concentration during work.
4. Lack of interest - If any employee has a lack of interest in his/her job. He may perform his/her
tasks with carelessness which may lead to an accident.
5. Failure to apply safety rules - the employee must follow all the safety measures while handling any equipment. This may prevent accidents.
The most common accident-prone areas in a hotel are stairways, balconies, ramps, parking
lots, bathtubs, or showers. The risk of accident can be reduced in the following ways:
Presence of handrails in stairways
Presence of a non-slip surface
Proper lightening at all places
Proper maintenance at regular intervals
Maintaining Accident Report
Identifying accident-prone areas inside a hotel
There must be 24 x 7 doctor on call available for the hotel to handle any guests who are
unwell and requires some immediate treatment.
The hotel has many points of sale where cash is handled. Therefore, there is always a
possibility of theft. The guest in the hotel carry with them valuables which may also invite risk
of theft. The guest must be advised to keep their valuables in the safety deposit locker. Any
theft inside a hotel should be immediately informed to the senior authority.
Fire is the most common emergency situation that may occur in a hotel. It could take place
due to faulty wiring, cigarette smoking in rooms or while cooking in the kitchen.
The following measures must be taken when there is a fire threat -
Do not panic. Handle the situation smartly and calmly.
The fire brigade should be informed immediately.
All the guest rooms and corridors must be equipped with smoke detectors and sprinklers.
The employees must be trained to handle the situation of fire. Fire drills should be performed during low occupancy periods.
Fire extinguishers should be placed in proper places and must be regularly checked.
The hotel staff must be well-trained to handle any emergency situation of a bomb threat. The hotel should inform the local police authorities and follow their instructions.
The person who receives the call should note the exact conversation between him/her and the
caller. He should try to ask for the details like the place where the bomb is placed, the description of the bomb, time by which the bomb is due to explode. He should also try to note
down the accent and mannerisms of the caller and if any background noise can be heard.
These exact details should be given to the police authorities. The higher authorities in the hotel should be immediately informed.