There are many factors to think about when you run a hotel. Firstly, depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be a variety of ways in which you can make your establishment stand out from the crowd. You’ll have to carry out a lot of research of nearby properties in order to see what is working for competitors.
You have to figure out your target audience and discover the best way to make a a return on your investment. Figuring out your unique selling point is key to succeeding. However, one aspect which must be the same throughout every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we look at how you can correctly safeguard your hotel:
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is crucial to anyone who runs, or plans to run, a hotel or guest house. This is because, since your business is constantly running, your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. Such a report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose.
You limit the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents by regularly running these checks, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace – something which is a legal requirement since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
Like electric, your business gas and appliances require regular checks to be carried out. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that you must arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.
In addition, make sure you provide training to staff members on how to safely use any gas appliances. You should also show them how to carry our visual checks, so they can spot obvious faults. This could include any damaged pipework or connections. While any new installations must be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, anyone can change a LPG gas cylinder or hose once they are competent to do so.
Carbon monoxide and dioxide alarms are also essential. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.
While this probably sounds like it doesn’t need mentioning, having a corporate uniform is a must. Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but it also gives your guests a clear view of who they can approach about a query, and who indeed is allowed in certain areas of the business. In guest areas, knowing who members of staff are is essential. This is because it shows that your company have guests’ safety at the forefront due to staff always patrolling the areas.
Have a clear emergency response plan
Your team must know what their role is in the event of an emergency. Regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency services should be scheduled so you have a good communication plan in place and can update it as and when required. In doing so, you can prepare your staff so that everyone is calm and knowledgeable in a worst-case scenario.
The director of hotel group, Cairn, Aneil Handa, said: “We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes.”
Instil confidence in your guests by installing CCTV cameras. IP CCTV systems are a great way to monitor your hotel and can even be accessed remotely. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means that if you spot any wrong-doing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions.
The physical safety of your guests shouldn’t be your sole focus, either. Hotels have become a prime target for cyber attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches, with many of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.
Reduce this risk by updating your systems on a regular basis. You should also be making sure that backing up your data becomes a habit, so you can eliminate the risk of losing it or having it irretrievably damaged. A recommended strategy is to use a cloud service daily, have weekly server backups, and follow these up with quarterly server backups and then yearly backups.
Just as is the case with your personal devices, password security is also important. Be sure to change it often and make sure you change it any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.
The safety of your guests in the hospitality industry is huge. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.
About the author
Nicky Bannister is the Head of Flogas Energy