If you are operating a business within the hospitality sector, no doubt you’re aware of all duties that require your attention. One major consideration is how can you make your business stand from the competition. Another one is that you’ll need to determine who your target audience is, and what you want them to benefit from your company.
But while you’re working hard to put yourself on the map, don’t lose sight of other key aspects — such as the vital need to keep your guests safe. Safety is of paramount importance in the hospitality business, and in this article, we’ll be investigating the best ways to maintain security at your hotel.
The impact of a staff uniform
It may sound rather basic, but a corporate uniform is a must for the hospitality sector. Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but it also gives your guests a clear view of who they can approach about a query, and who indeed is allowed in certain areas of the business. In guest areas, knowing who members of staff are is essential. This is because it shows that your company have guests’ safety at the forefront due to staff always patrolling the areas.
Confidence from CCTV
CCTV can provide a visual deterrent for would-be criminals, as well as a visual reassurance for guests. However, just having a surveillance system in place isn’t enough. Be sure to constantly monitor your set-up, even if this means hiring a third-party company to do so. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means that if you spot any wrong-doing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions.
Emergency response plans
Your team need to know what to do in case of an emergency. Regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency services should be scheduled so you have a good communication plan in place and can update it as and when required. In doing so, you can prepare your staff so that everyone is calm and knowledgeable in a worst-case scenario.
Director of the Cairn Collection, Aneil Handa, noted that: “We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes.”
Safety concerning electricity
A regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is vital for a guest house or hotel. This is because, since your business is constantly running, your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. Such a report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose. By carrying out these checks periodically, you are limiting the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace – something which is a legal requirement since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
Your gas mains, including appliances, should be checked regularly. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that you must arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.
Staff should also be aware of how to do visual checks of gas appliances as well as how to use them correctly. Potentially spotted faults could include any damaged pipework or connections. While any new installations must be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, anyone can change a LPG gas cylinder or hose once they are competent to do so.
A carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide alarm are also essential. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.
You need to consider security beyond physical too. Hotels have become a prime target for cyber attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches, with most of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.
Keeping your systems up to date will help in keeping your files and records secure. You should also be making sure that backing up your data becomes a habit, so you can eliminate the risk of losing it or having it irretrievably damaged. A recommended strategy is to use a cloud service daily, have weekly server backups, and follow these up with quarterly server backups and then yearly backups.
As with your personal devices, password security is a must. Be sure to change it often and make sure you change it any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.
Safety is an ongoing process, so you must maintain checks and updates where needed. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.