Just like other forms of residential security, hotel security in London has never been so important. At these times of the heightened terror threat and increase in organised crime; for some, staying in a hotel room can be an unsettling and uncomfortable time. You may feel cautious about leaving valuables in your room, or sleeping alone in a new place. But with the right precautions, it can be a pleasant and safe experience.
In this article, we aim to put your mind at rest when it comes to staying at a hotel and give you some top security tips. We have put together a shortlist of ways to keep yourself, and your property safe and out of harm’s way.
When you make your reservation, ask for a room off the ground floor. Being on the ground floor makes it easier for someone to break into your room through the window. Not only that, there may be added noise from passing pedestrians or vehicles. Don’t be afraid to ask about changing rooms if you don’t feel comfortable with your designated one.
TIP: Keep your luggage with you when checking in and out, take them to and from your room yourself. This is the most likely time you could become a victim of theft, and your luggage tampered with or stolen. Keep your valuables under your control and in your possession.
If you feel concerned about entering your room alone, ask the bell boy or receptionist to escort you to your room. Quickly check the room over to see if anyone is in there waiting for you; under the bed, behind the curtains, in the wardrobe and bathroom are the main points to check. If you have a balcony, make sure your door is locked and the balcony is clear too, and close the curtains. It’s highly likely that everything is fine, but it pays to be cautious and suspicious. Explain to the staff that you’re a nervous traveller if you feel embarrassed.
TOP TIP: Always pack with you a rubber doorstop or two! – wedge them under the front door and balcony door slide rail. That way no-one is getting in! They’re small, cheap, and add that all-important extra bit of security and assurance. If you don’t have a door wedge, fold up one of the many hotel brochures or menus and wedge them under the doors. The electronic key locks are easily bypassed; it has been known for criminal gangs to target hotel rooms on mass by hacking the electronic key locks.
Check your escape route. Look on the back of your door for the floor plan, find the nearest fire exit and do a ‘dry run’ if you can – walk the route back and forth a few times so it’s in your head. Not only in case of a fire but in case the hotel comes under terrorist attack. Find out where the fire exit leads you out to and park your car there for a quick getaway if you can. Always reverse park into the parking space to save time when you may have to leave in a hurry. Have a secondary escape route too, this may well be the staff entrance or service corridors. Walk the perimeter of the hotel to familiarise yourself with the hotel grounds and surroundings.
In your room; check your mobile phone reception – you may have to call the emergency services and you can’t always rely on the hotel phones working in the event of a fire, or targeted terrorist attack. Make a note of the hotel address and your room number – let a loved one or close relative know where you are, which room and a contact number for the hotel.
Find a hiding place in your room, where you can hide in case of a terror attack and you’re trapped. Look for a loft hatch where you could hide, and consider jumping from your balcony or window if not too high. If you are trapped in your room, barricade the door with the mattress and furniture. If nothing else it may absorb stray bullets or bomb shrapnel and save your life.
Worst-case scenarios aside – Never leave your hotel room without everything you value most, hotels are notorious for theft and the hotel staff cannot always be trusted. The room safes are easily by-passed by cleaners so don’t rely on them – and they already know all the best hiding places, you will not outsmart them. Ask the manager to put your valuables in the main safe if you must and get a receipt, or keep them on your person at all times.
TIP: Avoiding using the free hotel open WiFi networks, they are insecure by name and nature! anyone can easily intercept your sensitive information and passwords; such as your internet banking details. Hackers can also easily access your hard drive over the network and download all your files, and plant a virus or spyware.
Don’t advertise what room you are staying in whilst in the bar or communal areas. Put the room key in your pocket so no-one can see your room number – also so you don’t lose the key. If you have to tell the staff what room you are in when ordering food or drinks, keep your voice low or show them your keys in the palm of your hand so no-one else can see. Always be aware of who is taking a keen interest in you, and do your best to avoid them. Make sure they don’t follow you towards your room, walk past your room if you think you are being followed or watched.
When back at your room, keep the volume of your phone conversations down – you never know who is listening outside your door or in the neighbouring rooms. Put your wedges in place under the doors, lay back and relax knowing you have done all you can to secure yourself and you’re fully prepared for the worst.
Hotel security London – Remember most, if not all hotels these days have CCTV and many have security guards too. Try not to get yourself paranoid, but stay alert and aware. It pays to be prepared.
If you feel the need to hire security to assure your safety, then Westminster Security provides complete hotel security services, including residential security guards and bodyguards in London. Contact us today to see how we can assist you during your visit.
Westminster Security provides residential security services in London, throughout the UK, Europe and Worldwide.