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Protecting your hotel guests from predators

Owning or managing a hotel is a lot of hard work. If hospitality is your passion, you are willing to put the time and energy into making your hotel a warm and inviting place that guests will want to make part of their traditions, whether they are traveling through Louisiana on business or pleasure.

One critical aspect of hotel management is ensuring the safety and security of your guests. You certainly don't want to wait until a guest suffers injuries in an assault or incurs losses in a robbery to identify the weaknesses in your security plan. Additionally, waiting until such an event occurs can be devastating to your hotel's reputation and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Proactive steps

If one of your guests becomes a victim of a crime on hotel property, there is a good possibility he or she will consider legal action against your hotel and possibly against you personally. Among other things, hotel guests must prove that you failed to take reasonable actions to protect them from danger. While no security measure is foolproof, and some can be costly, your efforts may discourage predators from taking advantage of your guests. Hotels where people feel safe and comfortable may have any of these elements:

  • A mobile key system that allows guests to use their smart phones to enter their rooms instead of having to keep track of keys
  • Secured access to hotel areas reserved for guests, such as business centers, pools and gyms, where individuals need key cards or mobile access to enter
  • A well-trained staff who consistently educates guests on how to stay safe and where to get help if they need it
  • Security cameras, which can be as simple or sophisticated as you can afford, but which should cover all areas of your hotel, especially stairways, corners, elevators and parking lots

You may consider hiring a security company or consulting with an expert who can help you assess your security needs and the areas where your hotel may be most vulnerable. It is critical that your staff follows safety protocol, such as locking doors at a certain hour, interacting with everyone who enters the lobby and questioning anyone who does not seem to belong.

Nevertheless, you may find yourself named in a lawsuit if one of your guests claims to be a victim of an assault on your hotel's property. If the guest files a claim against your hotel for lax security, you will want legal assistance with proving that you took every reasonable effort to protect your guests from harm.

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