KN, p. 143 “On the Road – Hotel Safety”
Dead tired at the end of a long day on the road?
Can’t wait to fall into bed after a completely exhausting day in the sun or at the ball park or the festival?
Before your head hits the pillow in that hotel, remember to check a few things:
Before going to sleep or leaving the room, make sure:
- The hallway door is locked, bolted, and chained when staying in.
- The door actually latches and the locks click into place every time you close the door.
- The privacy card has been placed outside the door on the handle or inserted into the key card slot whether staying in or leaving to go to breakfast, etc.
Before opening the hallway door to anyone:
- Check the peep hole in the door to see who is there – the staff is trained to stand back from the door so that you can see them.
- Check ID of the person at the door while the door is still closed.
- If unsure or suspicious of the person’s ID, call the front desk.
- Don’t let the children answer the door. Chances are, they aren’t tall enough to see out the peep hole.
Keep your room key in your pocket/pocketbook while out of the room.
- Don’t flash the key around or leave it on the restaurant table.
- Thieves look for careless tourists at the resorts that still use actual keys.
- Don’t tell strangers your room number or the name of your hotel.
If you are concerned about leaving personal property/electronics/cameras in the room while you are out having fun, remember…
You don’t have to let the housekeeping staff do your room every day. You can place full trash cans in the hallway next to the door, get more towels from the housekeeping staff, and leave the privacy tag on the corridor door. If you don’t need more towels or coffee kits or need the sheets to be changed, then housekeeping will stay out of your room, and lessen the likelihood of strangers having access to your things. Am I paranoid? No, just the victim of theft by the housekeeping staff at two different major resorts. Using the room safe would not have been possible – not big enough.
Fire exits and safety tips
Major hotels display small floor maps on the back of the entrance door to your room. Check out the emergency exit route before you need it.
These days, all hotels (even the local Bed & Breakfasts) should have fire sprinkler systems in place throughout the building in order to receive their permits to operate. Most also have smoke detectors in every room.
But, what do you do if you suspect a fire and no alarm has sounded?
- Touch the hallway door to see if it is hot.
- If it is cool, open the door carefully and look in the corridor.
- If it’s clear, take your room key with you, close the door and get down on the hallway floor, making your way to the exit stairs, not the elevator.
- If it gets smoky in the staircase, turn around and head up to another floor, then cross to a different staircase to head down and out.
What if you think the fire is right outside your door – raging between you and the exit route?
- Touch the hallway door and if it is hot, stay put and call the operator.
- If the hotel phone is not working, use your cell phone and call 911 and give the name of your hotel, and your room number.
- Then fill the bathtub with water, wet the sheets and stuff them into the hallway door gaps and all the vents in the room that are sending out smoke.
- Cover your mouth with a wet hand towel.
- Try to stay calm and wait for help to come to you.
Be smart about your own security and you’ll have more fun on vacation!
*Photos by Patti Phillips