Guests, visitors, suppliers, workers, external services... hotels have such a wide range of people that keeping facilities secure is a challenge. Unfortunately, there is no single, foolproof way of ensuring the safety of the premises and the property inside.
At Omnitec, we offer access control solutions for common areas, restricted areas and rooms, as well as for safes in guest rooms. Constant investment in technological developments makes these devices more and more secure; however, we always insist that no system by itself is infallible.
In this article, we address some of the most important security measures that can be implemented in a hotel, while always being aware of the shortcomings of each system because for security, like everything else in life, unity is strength.
5 Crucial areas for hotel security
1. Perimeter and Exterior Access
This is the first access point where people external to the hotel can be prevented from entering.
2. Building Access
No matter how advanced the main door access control is, if the back door has the cheapest cylinder lock, it will ruin the security plan.
3. Common areas
These are areas in the hotel with the most varied security requirements which deserve special attention. From the dining room to the manager or security director’s office, there is a wide range of places with restricted access.
The lift is mostly neglected in security plans. However, it is the fastest and most discreet access route to the room floors.
5. Corridors and rooms
These areas are the least travelled and, generally, have less lighting, despite the fact that the rooms are the locations that experience the greatest number of thefts.
12 hotel security tips
Perimeter and external access...
1. Keep all doors closed
The first level of security is the perimeter and access doors to the enclosure and, as obvious as this may seem, the doors should be kept closed. However, to prevent inconvenience, these doors can be equipped with access controls for guests and employees to enter with their card, pin code or mobile via bluetooth.
2. Install a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system
Equipping this first access point with a CCTV system notably increases the level of security. Firstly, it acts as a deterrent and, if an incident does occur, there is a greater possibility of identifying those involved.
3. Employ security personnel
In especially large hotel complexes, or in any hotel that wants a high level of security, having trained and qualified security personnel at this first access point will provide the hotel with a high level of security.
Building access areas...
4. Hotel access control
Both the main door and all secondary doors must have their own security study and access control. Each door has a type of access control according to its security needs and, if these are electronic systems, a list of all openings can be provided to find out who accessed each door and when.
CCTV surveillance systems are a particularly useful indoor security addition for areas of less transit and can record at shorter distances.
5. Ideally, electronic locks
Hotels use different access management systems for locations with different security needs: from traditional keys to electronic locks, electronic cylinders, keypads and biometric systems. There are numerous options available.
Our advice is to dispense with mechanical keys from the outset, due to the risk of them being lost or copied. Electronic devices should be assessed against the importance of each door and an investment made in proportion to the security required.
6. Access credentials for lifts
Lift access to can be limited in two main ways:
- Changing the exterior button for a card reader so that only someone with valid credentials can use it.
- Limiting the floors that can be accessed, depending on the credentials. Only certain buttons work with this second system, according to a person’s credentials.
In corridors and rooms...
7. Good lighting
A well-lit space acts as a deterrent to thieves, who feel more vulnerable. This must be taken into account by the hotel project; however, lights that do not increase operating costs should be chosen.
8. Room locks: a key security point
The room lock is a key point in the security plan. A technologically advanced electronic lock is much safer than one with obsolete technology and much more reliable than a mechanical cylinder lock.
There is also the possibility of auditing the lock to check who has entered the room; whether a room is accessed using customer or employee credentials is of the utmost importance. The person providing access credentials can be recorded on the management software.
9. Corridor video surveillance system
Room corridors are possibly the place where CCTV systems provide the greatest degree of deterrence. In recordings where access to a room can be clearly seen, a suspicious individual has a hard time arguing he was simply passing by.
Inside the room, guests entrust their valuables to the overall security of the hotel. This is where a safe can make a difference to the guest. Being able to store electronic devices, documentation and other important objects in a room safe gives guests the peace of mind they need for their stay.
As with any other security device, investment in technologically advanced safes increases the overall security of the hotel.
Most advanced models have automatic features such as shutdown of the safe when the room lock is opened with a card or mobile other than the guest’s. A safe with a certified degree of security is found only in the most exceptional, exclusive hotels with the most luxurious rooms. However, all guests should be offered the service of a certified-grade safe for high value goods, located at Reception or another area with restricted access.
11. Online access control
Having electronic access control devices connected online provides another plus for hotel security. This connectivity makes it possible to list accesses, remove user permissions and block devices, among other functions, and can be done from anywhere with just a mobile phone and an Internet connection.
12. Good management of access control permissions
Another aspect that affects overall security is staff access management, both internal and external, and the validity of their access credentials. The more general the nature of access permissions, the less complex are management, work and security in the hotel.
Personalised access credentials based on the tasks performed by employees and external personnel in the security plan will result in a higher level of preventive security and make it easier to resolve any incidents.
Finally, it must be emphasised once again that unity is strength, and nothing by itself is infallible. We hope this article helps you reflect on the safety of your hotels and whether you need to invest in new security layers or improve existing ones considered adequate.