Posts

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), hotel fires represent 1% of all structure fires. That may not sound like much, but it is; the NFPA goes on to say that U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 3,520 structure fires in hotels and motels each year. In figures provided in 2015, these fires resulted in annual losses of 9 civilian deaths, 120 civilian injuries, and $84 million in direct property damage.

With that in mind, it’s safe to say that hotel fires happen frequently. So, how can a hotel notify guests on the property when a fire or other emergency is identified? Does the audible sound of the fire alarm suffice? Not always – and that’s why mass notification solutions are so important.

Mass Notification Options for Hotels

Hotels have several options when it comes to mass notification of emergencies. They include:

Text notifications: Deploying personal alerts to guests’ wireless devices is a emerging as a popular mass notification solution. A scripted message can be deployed, with evacuation instructions and an assurance that guests will be notified again when it is safe to re-enter the property. Although the scripted messages can be stored as templates, there is also the capability to alter the message to address the specifics of the event.

Social media: Although social media is a broader platform that may invite outside responses, some hospitality establishments find it to be an effective mass notification tool that can supplement text notifications (which do not allow guests to reply). If your establishment is a good fit for utilizing social media notifications via targeted Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts, consider utilizing a secondary method as well.

Audio notifications: An audio notification that emanates throughout the property can be a way to instantaneously reach everyone who is on the premises. In the event of a fire, it may indeed be the fastest way to reach everyone, particularly if the property caters to an older clientele that may not own smartphones or be familiar with their use. In the instance of a violent attacker on the premises, mass notification via audio notification can be even more valuable. Deploying an audible lockdown message can ensure everyone retreats to the safety of designated areas or uses instructed exits for evacuation.

No matter what mass notification method a hotel property uses, the content of the notification matters. It is critical that the establishment has protocols in place that ensure message content is accurate, instructional and straightforward. The goal is to notify guests, not confuse them. To discuss mass notification systems for hotels, contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to answer your questions.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential, commercial and hotel security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The hospitality industry has its hands full when it comes to security. Here are just a few of the challenges the average hotel property must address:

  • Achieving perfect symmetry between creating an inviting atmosphere for guests while simultaneously implementing access control procedures
  • Analyzing camera footage for potential security threats 24/7
  • Securing valuable assets on a property that caters to hundreds, if not thousands of transient guests every day of the year

How can a hospitality establishment maintain its welcoming environment and culture of customer service, while also ensuring everyone on the premises remains secure? It’s a delicate balancing act, but it can be achieved. Here are some tips for making it happen.

Upgrade Access Control

Any establishment that continues to use actual room keys is behind the game on security. When access control cards are issued to every guest, it’s easier for management to keep track of guest room entry – but it’s also a valuable way to control access to guest-only areas, including the fitness center, pool and other locked areas that only guests may use. For higher end establishments, access control can be categorized so that only a certain class of guests may enter members-only and VIP areas. If your establishment is still relying on keys, it’s time to upgrade.

Upgrade the Upgrade

Of course, even access control cards can come with some pitfalls, such as cards being misplaced by guests or deactivated by employees unnecessarily. If a hotel has graduated from the initial convenience of key cards and is looking for a next-generation access control solution, one avenue to consider is a system that syncs access with the guests’ smartphones. This is an up-and-coming solution being adopted by some of the nation’s most prestigious hospitality establishments, and managers are finding that it offers a fluid, more rewarding guest experience.

Reevaluate Video Surveillance

Every hotel needs video surveillance, but implementing it is just the first step. After a period of time, managers may find that the security video is missing the mark. While the front desk, entry points, and lobby are all great places to start, they are not the end game of hotel video surveillance. Consider reevaluating the establishment’s security camera layout; if there are not sufficient cameras watching over guest hallways, retail areas, service corridors and dining rooms, then it may be time to add those to the network. To minimize the need for 24/7 monitoring onsite, consider embracing intelligent video analytics solutions that can identify suspicious events and significant patterns as they occur. Ask your security integrator to recommend a solution that can be scaled to the footprint of your establishment.

The more secure hotel guests feel, the more likely they will be to reward an establishment with repeat business and recommendations. To improve hotel security while still maintaining a hospitable atmosphere, contact Security Instrument. We will be glad to provide an onsite security evaluation of the property.

About Security Instrument

Security Instrument is a full-service, independently-owned security integrator that offers numerous electronic security options. We serve thousands with residential, commercial and hotel security in Delaware, MD, NJ & PA.

The security of guests, staff, and anyone that comes to the hotel is vital to the hotel industry, making security systems a valuable tool. Security systems can do so much more than provide an added measure of safety, however. Security and automation systems such as intrusion alarms, video surveillance systems, access control, and business automation systems can also protect hotel assets and profitability.

Here are some important ways security and business automation systems benefit the hotel industry:

Intrusion Alarms

Intrusion alarms safeguard your guests by protecting vulnerable points of entry.

Automation Helps Manage Energy Consumption

Every space in a hotel needs to be ready for occupation at a moment’s notice, yet hotel operators need to carefully monitor the hotel’s energy consumption. Business automation can help create the perfect climate while reducing energy consumption.

Improved Security

Video surveillance is a physical crime deterrent and can help thwart crimes to which hotels are most vulnerable, such as lone attacks on a guest, or theft.

Access Control Protects Assets

Theft of merchandise is a common problem for many hotel establishments. Access control systems protect those assets.

Enhanced Customer Service

Video surveillance and CCTV systems can also help hotel managers ensure that customers receive the best service possible by allowing them to monitor service practices, guest wait times, traffic flow and much more.

Improved Productivity

Research shows that business that utilizes surveillance systems see improved productivity. The systems can serve as verification of the location of technical or service personnel, how long tasks take to complete, and as a tool to improve efficiency.

Mitigate Risk Damage

Security cameras can help mitigate damages in the event of an accident, as well as prevent attempted fraud.

About Security Instrument

Founded in 1960, Security Instrument Corporation, a privately held U.S. Corporation, provides electronic security and life safety detection and associated monitoring and support services. Protecting guests, and profitability is paramount in the hospitality industry. If you have questions about how to improve your hotel security, feel free to give us a call today.