Whether you’re an owner, or a prospective owner, there are lots of factors to running a successful hotelier business. Depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be different ways to make your establishment stand out from the crowd. This will likely require extensive research into nearby properties and businesses to see exactly what is working and what isn’t.
You’ll undoubtedly have heard lots about knowing your unique selling point (USP) and being aware of which audience to market your business to. However, one aspect which should always be a consistent consideration for every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we take a brief overview of how you can safeguard your hotel:
Think about CCTV?
Making use of a CCTV system is a great way to ensure your guests feel safe. However, just having a surveillance system in place isn’t always enough. Be sure to constantly monitor your set-up, even if this means hiring a third-party company to do so. You might want to use an IP CCTV so that you can view your property from a control room, smartphone or a tablet 24/7. 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.
A staff uniform?
Having a staff uniform is another important security measure. 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.
Your electric supply
Any electricity supply is an obvious and potential security risk. A regular Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is required because your business is constantly in operation, and your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. This report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose.
Diarise – and stick to – regular electrical checks. Doing this will ensure 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.
Prioritise gas safety
Similar to your electricity supply, your gas mains and associated appliances should be periodically checked. 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.
Your staff training programme – key to a successful business – should cover safety issues. It’s important that staff have full training in the operation of any gas appliances – and this should include spotting any obvious faults, by using visual checks. This 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.
Carbon monoxide and dioxide is a silent killer, so alarms are vital. 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.
How about online data?
Physical safety shouldn’t be your only consideration. 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.
Keep on top of your IT systems. You can reduce online data security risks, and ensure the safety of files and information, by regularly updating them. 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.
Never neglect the importance of password changes. Just as it is for your own personal IT devices, password security is also important for your business. Change your passwords often and make sure it’s changed any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.
Your emergency response plan
Every member of staff should be fully aware of their role in the case of an – hopefully unlikely – 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.
If you’re in – or planning to enter – the hotelier industry, make safety a priority. It’s crucial to keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide your business with an insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.