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Hotel security: Navigating concerns and identifying solutions

Bob Chartier, Vice President of Key Accounts, AlliedBarton Security Services. | June 24, 2014
Here are nine considerations for balancing security and hospitality

Maintain Emergency Response Plan and Team
The collaboration between law enforcement and private security needs to extend beyond on-the-spot information sharing. Proactive security efforts and emergency planning initiatives should also involve everyone with a vested interest in safety and security.

As hotels proactively implement prevention and response plans for everything from workplace violence to natural disasters, security professionals are quick to recommend the involvement of local law enforcement agencies and first responders.

Existing plans should be reviewed annually. Evacuation and response drills, as well as other training sessions, should include those external groups too. Involving everyone in planning and training will allow plans to be as situational as possible, and also help ensure a more efficient implementation if the worst case scenario does occur.

Commitment to Ongoing Training
Security professionals require continual quality training if they are to be as responsive and knowledgeable as possible.

Given that security personnel are placed in the front line of an hotelier's security force, it is vital that they have all the latest tools needed to handle emergency and crisis situations. Security professionals should also be able to access training in a way that benefits their lifestyle, whether it is online or classroom training.

Hotels are held to extraordinarily high standards with regard to safety and security. It is critically important that all hotel staff be trained on appropriate security procedures for all high traffic areas, including the lobby, front desk, baggage storage area, guest entry points, valet, and parking lot and receiving dock areas.

The open environment fostered by hotels is welcoming to guests and visitors but, unfortunately, also creates vulnerabilities that must be addressed. Ensuring that all public spaces are continually monitored by staff and security personnel is crucial in maintaining a hospitable environment.

Part of emergency response and event management plans require the ability to ramp up staff at a moment's notice. Ensuring that your security team is ready and available when you need them can pay enormous dividends in minimizing the real world impact of a crisis to your brand, staff and guests.


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