Hotel security exists in an ever-evolving world.
Our responsibilities are not just patrolling parking garages and calming inebriated guests.
Hotel safety and security has become a worldwide issue of concern.
For example, the United Nations produces a document, Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to address the ever-growing safety issues in our field. (see figure 1)
This Code of Ethics shows technical writing has an impact on the hotel industry worldwide.
It emphasizes the importance of technical writing in the hotel security industry skill set.
- Today's travelers demand safe and secure hotel environments.
- Security team preparation can pay enormous dividends by minimizing the real-world impact of a crisis on your brand, staff and guests.
- Hotel security personnel must prepare to meet security needs by utilize a cadre of skills which now includes technical writing expertise.
PURPOSE OF PRESENTATION
- To illustrate my expertise in technical writing in the field of hotel security.
- To demonstrate my ability to utilize technical writing knowledge and skills to adapt to individual hotel setting and circumstances.
- To utilize technical writing skills to protect guests and staff, to prepare staff to meet security needs, and to project ahead to meet the security issues of the future.
Protection of guests and staff is our first priority.
Awareness and vigilance are keys to meeting security needs for all individuals on a property.
We must constantly evaluate how to meet those security needs.
The major component to safety preparedness is likely the most basic document, the hotel door evacuation diagram.
It is the one item guests and staff look to in the case of an emergency evacuations.
Hotel Emergency EVACUATION
- Emergency evacuation diagrams are placed on the inside of the hotel room door.
- It may also be provided to guests in a registration packet.
- It provides emergency evacuation instructions for guests, staff, other workers in the space.
- Diagram needs to be clear, concise, and easy to understand.
- It should be written specifically for each property and revised often.
The most common security diagram seen in hotels is the evacuation diagram on the hotel room door such as this one from the Crown Prince Hotel in Singapore. (see figure 2)
It has positive aspects:
- Use of color for evacuation path arrows and room location.
- Multiple languages
- A diagram key
But, also contains negative aspects:
- Cluttered floor plan depiction may cause confusion.
- Wordy explanation of evacuation steps takes away space from floor plan depiction.
- There is no red dot or room number to indicate present location, even though this is the actual diagram posted on the back of the door.
Below are personal photographs of two diagrams I presently use at Aransas Princess Resort in Port Aransas, Texas. (see figures 2 and 3)
The diagram in Figure 3 is clear, concise, and displays languages experienced at this property.
This diagram is also handicapped accessible and the emergency button is red.
- The diagram in Figure 4 is more difficult to understand since it is written more from the point-of-view of the writer, who is familiar with the property.
- I am working with management on revisions of this diagram to address a more reader-friendly format and information clarification.
- A multiple language format will be utilized on the revisions
- For clarification, print and spacing will also be addressed
- Floor and unit numbers will be added after basic form is printed.
- My revision rough draft is seen in Figure 5.
Preparation of staff maintains a protective mantle for guests and others who present on a property.
Historic hotel fires such as the 1980 MGM Grand Fire in Las Vegas, Nevada are forever etched on the mind of the hotel security industry.
Even though hotel fires have substantially decreased, the challenge to pinpoint reasons these fires still occur and to address the prevent future fires still remains.
Knowledge, training, preparedness, and vigilance is needed to address this issue.
Reports, such as the following, provide valuable tools to assist security personnel in accomplishing this mission.
FEMA Hotel and Motel Fire Report
- This report is a current, readily available government resource.
- It can be utilized for general information and training activities.
- The targeted audience is management, staff, and emergency providers.
- Content is clear and understandable with limited jargon and technical language.
- Included are tables, charts and graphs for information clarification. (see figures 7 and 8)
- Figure 7 illustrates use of tables to clarify information.
- Colors and font changes are used to emphasis the data and lead the reader to information.
- Figure 8 depicts graphs that are clear and concise with explanations of the data.
- There are changes from vertical to horizontal bars throughout the document, which serves to change the visual attention of readers providing greater emphasis on the information being presented.
- Colors and font variations also provide more clarity to information.
The Tropical Fire Report provides a good springboard for a staff in-service. I have prepared a presentation that is used to give staff a basic look at the issue of hotel fires. It is entitled Just a Spark...Hotel Fire Awareness Training Module. (see figure 9)
Projection of potential security issues is the outer layer of protection vital in today's world.
Unfortunately, terrorism is ever-present in today's world.
Terrorism can come in many forms, not just a physical attack on life and limb.
It can include interference with vital information or communication systems, causing disruption and economic damage.
Terrorism also includes threats or hoaxes designed to frighten and intimidate.
Valuable information from reports such as the following, can now assist security personnel in addressing terrorism and preparation of their security contingency plans.
Counterterrorism for hotels and restaurants
- With regard to protective security, the best way to manage hazards and risks is to understand and identify those threats and your vulnerability to them.
- This report provides protective security advice to those in the hotel and restaurant industry.
- Even though this is a formal report, it also includes guidelines and procedures for addressing security issues. (see figure 10)
- The hotel-restaurant link is important since many hotels also maintain restaurants.
- Its purpose is to reduce the risk of terroristic activity and limit the damage from an attack.
- The targeted audience of this report includes owners, management, and staff.
This report helps decide:
- What security improvements are needed by your property, company, or brand.
- What type of security and contingency plans need to be developed and implemented for your protection.
Information in this report is clear and understandable due to minimum jargon and technical language.
Reports written in the manner to provide a better more reader-friendly format.
Visual cues such as diagrams, text boxes, colors, changes in fonts, and bulleting are utilized to emphasize important information.
Report thoroughness has a major impact on relevance to security plans and activities.
Below are illustrations of some unique threat areas that may often be overlooked when preparing security contingency plans and staff training. (see figures 14, 15, and 16)
Checklists, covering a variety of areas from housekeeping to information security, are included in this report.
These checklists, such as the Bomb Threat Checklist below (see figure 17), provide a base for the development of procedures that are adaptable to individual properties.