Protect Yourself from Hotel/Motel Crime

Staying Safe

Five national organizations, including the American Hotel & Motel Association, the American Automobile Association and the National Crime Prevention Council, joined together last year in a campaign to raise public awareness about traveler safety. Here are the measures they recommend:

  • Make every effort to stay only in those hotels and motels that have deadbolt locks and a peephole, as well as a chain or latch on the doors–then don’t forget to use them.
  • Make sure that all windows and doors are securely locked, including connecting doors between rooms. If you’re traveling alone, ask that a hotel employee escort you to your room and check it out for you.
  • Use the hotel’s valet parking or ask to be escorted to the parking facility. Park in a well-lighted area, away from trucks, vans, dumpsters or woods.
  • Do not discuss your room number in public, within earshot of strangers.
  • Never open your door without first looking through the peephole to verify the caller. Hotel employees should always be in uniform, and they should be able to provide identification. When in doubt, ask that the room-service receipt be slid under your door before opening it, or phone the front desk to confirm that the person is legitimate.
  • When returning to your hotel in the evening, use the main entrance.
  • Place valuables in the hotel safe
  • If you’re confronted by a suspicious person in the hallway, or you sense that you are being followed, don’t go directly to your room. Walk in another direction, look for a house phone and, if you have reason to believe you’re in immediate danger, activate the nearest fire alarm.
  • Above all, whether you’re staying in first-class or budget accommodations, remember: No hotel can protect a guest who acts carelessly. Never prop open your door; always keep an eye on your key–at the hotel pool, health club, restaurant, wherever you go.

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