As Town and Country and Manchester residents prepare to celebrate Labor Day with at-home barbecues and one last day at the pool, others are planning to travel so they can enjoy their celebrations in more exotic locations.
If you’re planning to stay in a hotel during Labor Day weekend, are you planning ahead to ensure that you, your family and your belongings return home safely?
Whether you’re there for business or pleasure, staying in a good hotel can feel like a luxury. But sometimes, luxury gives way to danger, as it did in the case of a woman who opened her Hazelwood hotel room door to a robber on Sunday.
That’s why it’s so important for everyone who stays in a hotel room to be aware of the potential risks and to know what to do if a dangerous situation should arise.
Find a Safe Hotel
The first step is to find a safe hotel, advises Detective Kevin Coffee, police veteran and founder of Corporate Travel Safety, a firm that specializes in travel safety seminars, training taps and safety products.
“If possible, select a hotel with has installed modern electronic guest room locks,” Coffey writes. “The majority of these locks automatically change the lock combination with every new guest so there is little chance of someone having a duplicate key to your room. If you lose or misplace your key, ask to have your room re-keyed immediately.”
You should also ensure that your room is equipped with a dead bolt lock and a peephole. Coffey adds that rooms should be properly equipped for fire safety, and that phone lines should dial outside of the hotel. Plus, phones in hallways and lobbies shouldn’t allow visitors to directly dial guest rooms.
Travelers should also check to see if the hotel is located in a high crime rate area by calling local police or checking with a travel agent.
Relax, But Not Too Much
Once you’ve ensured that your hotel is located in a safe neighborhood and have found the security to meet the proper standards, you can relax—but you’ll still need to be vigilant. As the recent hotel room robbery proved, trouble can still occur once you’ve checked in.
Here are a few tips to help you (and your stuff) make it home safely after your stay.
- Keep valuables out of your room when you’re not there. Instead, use the hotel’s safe and get a receipt for what you leave.
- When you’re in the room, engage all available locks, including the chain lock. Use your door’s peephole to identify those who knock at your door.
- Don’t open the door for anyone you don’t know or expect, even if the person appears to be hotel staff. First, call the front desk to make sure the visit is legitimate.
- If the hotel doesn’t offer room service, be sure to have your deliveries made to the lobby instead of to your door, especially if you’re alone. Likewise, be careful about room service leftovers placed outside your door. If you’ve only got one drinking cup and one plate, potential intruders will suspect you’re alone and more vulnerable.
- Security specialists suggest you don’t leave your hotel room key at the front desk. This way, no one can check with the front desk to find out if you’re in your room, including hotel staff.
Have you ever been the victim of a crime while on vacation or on a business trip? What are your best tips for staying safe at hotels? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.