ENSURING A SAFE, CLEAN, AND SECURE HOTEL ROOM
It's a scenario familiar to any business traveler. Your airline flight was delayed; the cab line at the airport was endless and check-in was a mess. Jet lag has struck. It's very late, you're tired and you have a breakfast meeting with a key client at 6:30 AM. You grab your key, avoid the bellman and head to your room to collapse into bed. Stop. Take the next 5 minutes to perform these safety, security and cleanliness checks and prepare for the next day. These "how to's" will save you time the next morning, they could even save your life some day.
- When you enter your room prop the door open, turn on the lights, and check the closets, bathroom, under the bed and behind the drapes. Mistakes do happen and sometimes someone else has been assigned to your room. This happens more frequently in suites with adjoining bedrooms that can be sold as separate rooms. Or there could be a thief. In any case, don't close the door until you are sure the room is empty.
- Check that the connecting doors, windows and sliding doors are locked. In general, avoid first floor rooms with sliding doors.
- Once you lock the door and attach the safety chain, check the diagram on the back to review the nearest exits and mentally plan your escape route. Look out the door to check that the exit signs are illuminated. If the lights are out, be helpful and contact the front desk to let them know. The few seconds that it takes to review the exit information can save your life in the event of a fire, earthquake or other emergency. Just do it. FYI, most fire engine ladders can only reach up to the 6th floor.
- Be sure that the heat or air-conditioner, lights, phone, radio and television are working. Turn on the shower and sink to check the water pressure and temperature. If they aren't working, switch rooms now. It's not worth waiting for someone to fix the problem, especially late at night.
- If you are driving, make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in suitable condition for the journey.
- Try to have specific directions and routes to your destination.
- If you get lost, call the local police for directions or assistance.
- Always keep your vehicle doors and windows locked.
- At stoplights and other traffic delays, leave enough space in front of your vehicle so that you have an escape option in case of an emergency.
- Let someone know the route you intend to travel and your itinerary. This will help authorities in locating you if there is a need to do so.
- Plan your trip carefully and allow for factors such as weather, fatigue, facilities for lodging, food and fuel. Be sure you have sufficient finances, either cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards.
- Ask the hotel or motel staff about their security measures so you know what to expect.
- Use the hotel safe to store your valuables during your stay.
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