How Safe Are U.S. Hotels?


NBC's Dateline tonight aired a hidden camera investigation of U.S. hotels. John C. Fannin III, president and CEO, SafePlace Corporation was tapped to speak about how the public can guard against hotel crime, among other things. SafePlace Corporation offers the following additional tips to consumers on staying safe in hotels and other places of public access:

* Investigate, Inquire, Inspect * Take Control * Pay Attention To What's Missing INVESTIGATE - INQUIRE - INSPECT

One of the greatest ways that travelers can rest assured that they are staying in a secure hotel and that there are proper procedures and safety features in place, is to simply not be afraid to ask questions. SafePlace Corporation encourages consumers to do some inspection on your own, and be alert while away from home.

TAKE CONTROL
Don't be afraid to ask questions when booking or staying at a hotel.
1. Does the hotel employ dedicated 24-hour security personnel?
2. Does the hotel require proof of identification of all guests?
3. Is access to guest room floors restricted to resident guests with
valid electronic key cards only?
4. Does the hotel perform pre-hire background checks on employees?
5. How many incidents of burglary and other crimes are there each year at
the hotel?
6. Has your hotel been reviewed by an independent third party company
like SafePlace for security and safety features?

PAY ATTENTION
Once aware of things consumers should be asking hotels, pay attention to the big question: What's missing? Consumers should be aware of:

* Traffic Control: Vehicles should not be permitted to park in the immediate proximity of the buildings perimeter, even taxis. Recent hotel bombings have been as a result of an explosive-packed vehicle being parked out-front and close to the building perimeter. * Attentive doormen and bell staff: Were you greeted promptly and asked if you were checking-in or if you required assistance? The front door staff can be the first line of a hotels defense to "sniff-out" the not normal situation or visitor. * Security Officers: Are there clearly identified security officers at the building entrance and public spaces? * Screening of Visitors: Were you asked to produce a government issued photo ID's at check-in? A hotel should know who's staying in their building. * Security Cameras: Are there security cameras providing surveillance of common areas like entry points, the lobby, front desk etc.? * Front Desk Procedures: Hotel shouldn't state aloud your name or room number, but instead should write the number down for you.

Whether selecting a hotel for your family vacation or booking a hotel for a business meeting or special event, look for visible security features but pay particular attention to what's missing. "It's what's missing that tells the real story, " according to Mr. Fannin.

For more information about SafePlace Accredited(R) facilities and to get helpful travel safety and other life-safety tips, visit: http://www.safeplace.com/.

About SafePlace Corporation

SafePlace Corporation is the only independent provider of security and safety accreditation of lodging, academic institutions, health care facilities, assisted living communities, commercial buildings and other occupancies where the safety of people is a concern. Requirements for SafePlace(R) Accreditation, the new world standard of care, are primarily based upon the security, fire protection, and health and life safety provisions of selected nationally recognized codes, standards and recommended practices. Accreditation provides responsible property managers the opportunity to demonstrate their superior attention to facility protection features, and provides an independent source of public information regarding the relative security and safety of one facility over others. For more information about SafePlace Corporation visit http://www.safeplace.com/.



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