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Tips to Prevent Crimes in Hotels as a Guest - Crime Prevention in Hotels

Updated: Feb 8

Crime Prevention in Hotels- Common Hotel Crimes You Should Know For Your Safety and Security

Traveling offers exciting opportunities to explore new places and create lasting memories. However, amidst the excitement, it's essential to prioritize your safety, especially when staying at hotels. By taking a proactive approach and adhering to smart practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering criminal incidents during your hotel stay.


If you frequently travel for business or leisure, it's essential to consider the potential impact of hotel-related crimes on your safety. According to statistics released by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the likelihood of encountering issues at hotels is generally low, given the billions of people who travel in the US alone every day.


However, despite these favorable odds, it's wise to be prepared, especially if you're staying at an extended stay hotel. While extended stay hotels can be safe environments when management takes proper precautions, certain areas may experience higher levels of crime.

In this article we will explore proactive steps, you can enhance your safety and peace of mind during your stay.

Tips to Prevent Crimes in Hotels as a Guest
Tips to Prevent Crimes in Hotels as a Guest

Hotel crime prevalence can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, hotel type, security measures, and local crime rates.


Top Three Crimes Reported In Hotels

  1. Hotel Burglary and Theft Cases

  2. Physical Assault

  3. Car Burglars


While many hotels prioritize guest safety and implement security measures, criminal incidents can still occur. The following overview provides insights into the prevalence of hotel crime:


Choose Your Hotel Wisely To Prevent Hotel Crime

Selecting the right hotel plays a crucial role in ensuring your safety. Here are some considerations:

  • Research Reputable Brands: Opt for well-known and established hotel chains that have a track record of prioritizing guest safety and security.

  • Check Online Reviews: Reading reviews from other travelers can provide insights into the safety measures and experiences of past guests.

  • Location Matters: Choose hotels located in safe neighborhoods, close to main attractions, and with easy access to public transportation.

  • Check Hotel Security Measures: Prioritize hotels with visible security measures such as surveillance cameras, security personnel, and controlled access to floors.


Perform Hotel Guest Security Assessments

Look up the crime map that includes the region that your hotel is located. What type of crime is typically happening? Casual crime is nothing to worry about however high reporting of burglary, and assault may redirect you to a different hotel.


Check Google Street View your potential hotel

Unlike the hotel's website, these photos are not censored by the owner. Review and you may find things that may exist that were taken by previous guests.


Smart Room Selection To Prevent Hotel Crime

The location and layout of your room can also impact your safety. Here's what to consider:

  • Higher Floors: Opt for rooms on higher floors, which are generally less accessible from the outside and offer better views, reducing the risk of unwanted attention.

  • Avoid Ground Floors: Ground-level rooms are more susceptible to break-ins and easier access for unauthorized individuals.

  • Proximity to Elevators and Exits: Choose a room close to elevators or emergency exits for quick access to escape routes in case of an emergency.

  • Avoid Open Access: Do not stay at hotels-motels were you park in front of your door and access your hotel room


Stay a Hotels With a Single Point of Entry

Stay in hotels that direct guest access through a single point of entry. Casual criminals are kept away from the type of security that occurs in the reception area. Do not stay at hotels-motels were you park in front of your door and access your hotel room. Criminals target the hotels because they have access to guests and exit and escape are too easy.


Secure Your Room To Prevent Hotel Crime

Once you've selected your room, take precautions to enhance your room's security:

  • Lock All Entry Points: Always lock your room door and any connecting doors. Use all available locks, including deadbolts and chain locks.

  • Use the Peephole: Before opening the door, use the peephole to verify the identity of anyone outside, especially if you're not expecting visitors.

  • Keep Valuables Secure: Utilize the in-room safe to store valuables like electronics, passports, and cash. Avoid leaving valuable items in plain sight.

  • Block the Door with Lugage- If a breakin does occur it will slow down the attacker's movment giving you valuable time to prepare.

  • Utilize Your Own Lock: In addition to the hotel lock bring and use your own. Many of the hotel standard locks are easily bypassed by criminals. The below video will demonstrate how attackers circumvent the most common hotel room locks.


How attackers circumvent the most common hotel room locks.


Personal Awareness and Behavior

Your behavior and awareness play a significant role in your safety:

  • Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings, especially in common areas, elevators, and hallways. Trust your instincts; if something feels off, take appropriate action.

  • Travel Companion: Whenever possible, travel with a companion, especially during late hours or in unfamiliar surroundings.

  • Avoid Revealing Information: Refrain from sharing your room number with strangers, and be cautious about discussing your travel plans in public areas.

  • Use Public Spaces Wisely: In hotel facilities such as pools, gyms, and restaurants, keep your belongings secure and be cautious of your surroundings.


Be Cautious on Hotels With Lush Dark Landscaping Grounds.

Dark lush landscaping is a welcoming concealment to criminals. They are perfect points to attack. Parkin well-lit areas and as close to the hotel as possible.Many hotel thefts take place in parking lots and structures. Females traveling alone should ask for an escort to their cars at night.


Build a Luggage Wall As Added Layer of Self Protection

Using your luggage as a barrier in front of the door before going to sleep can be a simple yet effective safety measure when staying in unfamiliar accommodations.

Build a Luggage Wall As Added Layer of Self Protection
Build a Luggage Wall As Added Layer of Self Protection

By placing your luggage strategically against the door, you create an additional layer of security that can deter unauthorized entry or provide an early warning if someone attempts to force the door open.


This precaution is particularly useful in situations where you may not fully trust the security of your lodgings, such as in hotels or rented vacation properties. While it's not a foolproof solution, it adds an extra layer of peace of mind, helping you sleep more soundly while away from home.


What is the safest floor in a hotel?

The best floors in a hotel to stay in for safety and convenience are the second, third, and fourth floors. They are high enough in the building to avoid most burglaries but not too high in case of a fire. They are also more convenient than higher floors for entering and leaving the hotel.


How do you find hidden cameras in a hotel?

Use a flashlight- This method is perhaps the simplest of them all. Here’s how it works:


Many modern cameras have a lens that will reflect bright light. So, turn off the lights in the room and then turn on your flashlight. Move the flashlight slowly around the room, focusing specifically on areas where you suspect a camera may likely be hidden.


If you catch a glimpse of something reflecting the light back towards you from an irregular space or object, then you may have just found a hidden camera. The best way to achieve this camera-detection method is to hold the flashlight close to your face.


Check Windows Locks.

Window locks are sometimes left opened or unlocked by cleaning staff who may have aired the room out and forgotten to lock or close them.


Never Open Your Door To Anyone Who Knocks Unexpectedly.

If someone unexpectedly knocks claiming to be a member of the hotel staff, call the front desk to verify their status before opening the door. Teach children to never open the door without your permission


Leave Your Room As If It Was Occupied.

When you leave your room, leave on the light, place the “do not disturb” sign on your door and leave the television on. Bad guys may pass on your room looking for an easier target.


Your safety during a hotel stay is a priority that requires a combination of awareness, smart choices, and preparedness. By selecting hotels with strong security measures, making informed room selections, and practicing cautious behavior, you can enjoy your travels with peace of mind. Remember, prevention is the key to a secure and enjoyable experience, ensuring that your focus remains on creating cherished memories during your stay.


Violence Prevention and Self Defense Resources

The goal of the Center for Violence Prevention and Self Defense is to stop violence by educating at-risk people and empower them with the skills needed to protect themselves both online and live training. CVPSD's live training is available to people of all ages in New Jersey including children, adults and the elderly.


Live conceptual seminars teach the origins of violence and how to assess risk and set boundaries for healthy relationships. Experiential classes teach hands-on interpersonal skills and strategies to prevent and stop assault.

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self Defense reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.

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