The Case of Hotel Maintenance-Engineering & Security Operations – Part 2

by Egi Gaisie

I have always considered a hotel as a whole ‘world’ on its own…perhaps it’s because I worked in large hotels with facilities catering for almost every need, a kind-of one stop shop.

 In this article, our expedition takes us to hotel security departments. (on a lighter note, this is likely to take us to the peak of Mount Afadjato)!

No matter how small the size, or low the rating, whether a budget or a five-star hotel, a serious hotel investor or management cannot afford to ignore this department-security!

In part 1 we learnt that the security department shares a common interest of protecting the hotel’s assets with the maintenance-engineering department. We also learnt that while maintenance-engineering department is concerned about the value of hotel assets, the security department is concerned with the safety of hotel assets.

Icons representing hotel assets and departments

More comprehensively, security operations in hotels includes:

  • physical aspect of security; where security covers issues against theft, proper lightning, fire safety and even tracking the unwanted guests the hotels as well as covering issues to minimize incidents inside and outside the premises of the hotel
  • security of people; guests, employees and others
  • security of systems and buildings, fixtures, furniture, fitting and equipment; the assets.

We have also been informed that the department has the added responsibility on matters concerning covid-19 in some hotels. This fits into its role of safety of people; protecting people who have a lawful reason to be at the hotel property.

Let us first explore what I usually describe as the ‘intricate spider web’ work environment of hotel security operations.

Every hotel has the moral and legal responsibility to protect their guests and their properties against threats posed by human beings with a conscious intent to harm them.

Hotels are public facilities, anyone may go there to lodge, eat and drink, entertain him/herself, carryout a variety of businesses or even hide; so long as you can pay for the services you want! With such a wide variety of activities occurring under one roof, hotels become vulnerable to security threats.

The security functions in hotels become more complex when you consider that hotels operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and throughout the year and providing unlimited access to the public (in-house guests, visitors to hotel guests, invited guests of management, visitors, day users and employees).

Further, there are several distinct operational units in every hotel, each of which has distinct security and safety issues. As if these are not enough, the design and type of the hotel also influences the security and safety risks occurring in hotels. So, a facility with a single building, for example, will obviously be less vulnerable to security and safety problems than a hotel with a series of buildings!

Hotel security threats are NUMEROUS! Problems can occur anywhere in the hotel at anytime of the day caused by anyone (whether in-house guests, employees, day users including uninvited intruders, e.t.c), intentionally or unintentionally!

Fortunately, security systems and other products help keep guests and employees safe.

With all the above, then comes coronavirus pandemic! A unique safety and health issue which is placed at the door-step of the security department, and rightly so!

To be continued…

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