As the summer heats up many people prepare to vacation and enjoy times with family and friends. In many cases these vacations and travel involve hotel stays. Most hotels are generally safe. Most hotels in Washington DC are fairly safe. However, travelers should be just as mindful as they would of any situation where they will be spending an extending period of time in one place. In this case it is somewhere you will spend time asleep and thus unaware of what is happened around you. Everything from does the hotel have a private security guard from a security company to your rooms proximity to exits have an affect on hotel security. All factors should be taken under consideration. Here are a few tips to help make sure your next hotel stay is as safe as possible.
Prior to booking your hotel room considered the following things:
Does the hotel have security guards from a security company on duty? Hotels are buildings full of strangers. The many cases the hotel does not know anything about these guests other than the name and credit card number. Unfortunately, some of these guests could be up to no good. There is also a risk of non-guests entering the property to engage in criminal activity. Some hotels make the error of using janitors as security personnel. It is important that the security guards are from a security company. The presence of security guards in uniform is an effective crime deterrent. Ideally, the hotel security guards should be on duty 24 hours per day. At a minimum look for hotels that have overnight security provided by legitimate security companies like this one. Have there been past complaints about safety at that hotel? Check hotel review sites like tripadvisor.com and look for comments that refer to safety. You should never make a hotel decision solely based on one negative reveiw. However, reading reviews can give you an idea of the type of problems that happen at that location. This can also make you aware of other things that may influence your hotel selection. Avoid hotels near possible trarget of social unrest This is particularly a concern when traveling to locations with a history of political turmoil or civil conflicts. High profile buildings can become targets of attacks and you can find yourself in the middle of a conflict that you are not prepared to handle.
When checking in at the hotel
Keep your room number confidential Make sure the front desk person at check in does not say your room number out loud. If so, ask for another room. Also refrain from calling out your room number to friends whom may be staying at the same location. Stay away from the ground level rooms Ground level rooms tend to have sliding glass doors that are typically much easier to break into than front entrance doors. These sliding glass doors can also be used by suspects wishing to observe your activities. Know where to exit When you report to your room identify elevators and exits. This serves two purposes. 1. You know where to go if you need to exit the building in case of emergency. 2. You know the areas that other persons can use to gain access to your floor. Steer clear of rooms near stairwells Stairwells doors can be used by criminals to provide cover while they wait for you to approach your room. These same doors can be used by the thieves as a quick getaway after committing their crimes. This is particularly important when staying at hotels that have elevators and stairs. When elevators or present, stairs are seldom used by anyone. The lack of traffic makes these stairwells a favorite resource for criminals wishing to escape unseen.
During your hotel visit
Get safety advice Inquire with the hotel guest services staff about the relative safety of the places you are visiting. Are there certain times of day that you should avoid certain areas? You should ask this even if you have previously visited. Things may have changed since your last visit. Never advertise your absence Never use cards requesting maid service. These can be seen by criminals as announcements that they can enter your room without seeing you. Instead, call and request for a maid to be sent to your room. When traveling alone do not use room service order cards on your door. The size of your order can signal that you are traveling by yourself. Call and order by phone instead. Be careful in parking areas Parking lots and garages can be dangerous. If you cannot valet, park in a well-lit area and stay aware of your surroundings. If your car is equipped with an alarm or key fob, walk with your keys in your hand and your finger ready to press the panic button if needed. In the absence of a panic button, the door lock button can be pressed on most key fobs to sound the horn.