Loading

TECHNICAL WRITING New Mindset in Hotel Security

INTRODUCTION

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)

Figure 1. Global Code of Ethics for Tourism produced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to facilitate global tourism ethics and security procedures. Source: Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (United Nations World Tourism Organization, Comp.) [Brochure]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/docpdf /gcedtbrochureglovalcodeen.pdf

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.

RATIONALE

  • 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.

DIAGRAM

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)

Figure 2. Evacuation diagram placed inside door to hotel room in the Crown Prince Hotel in Singapore. Source: Crown Prince Hotel fire case escape route map floorplan [Photograph]. (2010, August 6). Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SZ_Dongguan_東莞太子酒店 _Crown_Prince_Hotel_fire_case_escape_route_map_floorplan_Aug-2010_a.jpg

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)

Figure 3. External evacuation diagram at emergency call button at the Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel, Port Aransas, Texas. Source: Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 3). Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel corridor evacuation diagram [Photograph].

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.

Figure 4. Internal evacuation diagram posted on back of unit entrance doors and in hallways of Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel, Port Aransas, Texas. Source: Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 3). Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel room door evacuation diagram [Photograph].
  • 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.
Figure 5. Personal preliminary draft of revision for diagram in Figure 4, internal evacuation diagram for Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel, Port Aransas, Texas. Source: Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 5). Revisions of Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel room door evacuation diagram [Illustration].

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.

FORMAL REPORT

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 6. Page 1 of Topical Fire Report Series: Hotel and Motel Fires which provides an introduction to the report subject matter. Source: FEMA U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2010, January). Topical Fire Report Series: Hotel and motel fires (Technical Report No. 4). Retrieved from http://www.usfa.fema.Gov/downloads/pdf /statistics/v10i4.pdf6.
Figure 7. Page 2 of the Topical Fire Report Series: Hotel and Motel Fires which displays an example of visual cues seen in report. Source: FEMA U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2010, January). Topical Fire Report Series: Hotel and motel fires (Technical Report No. 4). Retrieved from http://www.usfa.fema.Gov/downloads/pdf /statistics/v10i4.pdf6.
  • 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. Page 3 of the Topical Fire Report Series contains examples of a graphs seen in report. Source: FEMA U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2010, January). Topical Fire Report Series: Hotel and motel fires (Technical Report No. 4). Retrieved from http://www.usfa.fema.Gov/downloads/pdf /statistics/v10i4.pdf6.
  • 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)

Figure 9. Introduction page to training module, created by author of this presentation Source: Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, March 30). Just a Spark...Hotel Fire Awareness Training Module. [Adobe Spark Presentation]. Retrieved from https://spark.adobe.com/page/XOgdxRm4WdVOl/.

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.

FORMAL REPORT

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.
Figure 10. Counter Terrorism Protective Security Advice Report cover and Table of Contents created by the United Kingdom National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO). Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374923/Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf

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.

Figure 11. Risk management diagram, page 9 of report, assesses security needs. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374923 /Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf
Figure 12. Color, font changes, and bulleting, page 21 of report, adds emphasis and guides reader to important information. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads /system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374923/Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf
Figure 13. Text box, page 15 of report, denotes specific information for attention by reader. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374923 /Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf

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)

Figure 14. Chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) attacks, page 45 of report, highlight some areas of concern. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads /attachment_data/file/374923/Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf
Figure 15. Deliveries of any type, page 25 of report, are threats to security. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374923 /Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf
Figure 16. Preplanning search procedures to educate staff, page 13 of report, are emphasized. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file /374923/Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf

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.

Figure 17. Bomb Threat Checklist, pages 68-69 of report, used to prepare checklist (see figure 18) for present hotel position. Source: Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads /attachment_data/file/374923/Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf

I am working with my present employer to implement a variation of the Bomb Threat Checklist for use on our property. (see figure 18)

Figure 18. Proposed Bomb Threat Checklist for my present position. Source: Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 6). Proposed bomb threat checklist for Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel [Illustration].

A single act of crime can diminish your brand.

Technical writing can help meet your security goals to thwart these crimes.

Correctly written presentation and printed materials are critical to addressing security issues.

Security personnel must utilize all skills to...

  • Protect guests with security minded customer service by utilizing appropriately written materials while maintaining friendly responsive interactions.
  • Prepare staff by utilizing correctly written and prepared training presentations and materials that promote vigilance in security situations while backed by current research.
  • Project ahead to establish written protocol to include screening materials for employees, cooperative partnerships with emergency response teams, and preparation of emergency response plans.

Preparation pays enormous dividends when you minimize the impact of a crisis to your brand, staff, and guests.

My technical writing expertise can provide this vital component for your company security plan.

___________________________________________

References

Counter terrorism protective security advice for hotels and restaurants. (2014). Retrieved from Center for the protection of the national infrastructure website: http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/374923/Hotels_Restaurant _Reviewed.pdf

Crown Prince Hotel fire case escape route map floorplan [Photograph]. (2010, August 6). Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SZ_Dongguan_東莞太子酒店 _Crown_Prince_Hotel_fire_case_escape_route_map_floorplan_Aug-2010_a.jpg

Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 3). Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel corridor evacuation diagram [Photograph].

Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 3). Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel room door evacuation diagram [Photograph].

Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, March 30). Just a Spark...Hotel Fire Awareness Training Module. [Adobe Spark Presentation]. Retrieved from https://spark.adobe.com/page/XOgdxRm4WdVOl/

Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 6). Proposed bomb threat checklist for Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel [Illustration].

Falkenstein, E.J., IV. (2018, April 5). Revisions of Aransas Princess Condominium Hotel room door evacuation diagram [Illustration].

FEMA U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2010, January). Topical Fire Report Series: Hotel and motel fires (Technical Report No. 4). Retrieved from http://www.usfa.fema.Gov/downloads/pdf/statistics/v10i4.pdf6.

Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (United Nations World Tourism Organization, Comp.) [Brochure]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/docpdf /gcedtbrochureglovalcodeen.pdf

Ladgrin, V. (2016, September 15). Colorful gears forming a human brain, concept of brain work [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://depositphotos.com/123644606/stock-illustration-colorful-gears-forming-human-brain.html

Ladgrin, V. (n.d.). Head and brain gears in progress, concept of human thinking [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/head-brain-gears-progress-concept-human-92924131

Ladgrin, V. (n.d.). Background consisting of bright gears and arrows, the concept of motion [Illustration]. Retrieved from https://shutterstock.com/image-vector/background-consisting-bright-gears-arrows-concept-97868279

Created By
Edward J. Falkenstein IV
Appreciate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.