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Hotel Security in the Wake of Global Terrorism

For the foreseeable future, terrorism is a real threat and hotels are attractive targets. Hotels worldwide have experienced attacks in recent years and the trend is increasing. Even a usually safe destination like Sydney, Australia has not been immune as evidenced by the Martin Place Siege in 2014. The question many hotel managers are asking, is what can they do to improve guest safety?

Egypt is investing $32m in improved security measures at two Red Sea resorts in the wake of attacks there. However a recent article in HOTELS magazine argues that investing in higher resolution cameras or the addition of better trained security personnel is not the answer. The author advocates starting with an updated risk, threat and vulnerability analyses before embarking on any new or improved physical measures. However, the article points out that the most important part of any security plan is proper procedures and training. But how will your staff react in a real emergency when the adrenalin is flowing and will they remember the correct procedures for the situation?

The cornerstone of all emergency responses is clear and efficient communication. The quicker a security team is alerted to a situation and can respond, the better the outcome will be. Immediately giving clear instructions to staff and guests, either publicly (public address system) or discretely (telephone/mobile), means minimising the risk of panic, injury or worse. The problem faced by large facilities like hotels, is that while procedures are well documented, the associated communication is largely left to someone calling the appropriate staff. This process is fraught with risk and unavoidable delays. It can be as simple as not knowing who to call or someone not answering their phone, and any miscommunication will only exacerbate the situation leading to a slow and potentially chaotic situation.

The answer lies in an innovative solution that allows an organisation to automate those critical initial communications in response to a specific incident. Mobilising the security team, informing staff and giving clear verbal instructions to guests in their native language now takes just seconds and not minutes. Key staff are now free to monitor and manage the response, rather than be left wondering if they have followed the correct procedure or missed something critical. The equation is simple: Time saved = Lives saved.

Luminous Smart Building technology achieves this by integrating the telephone system (PBX), the check-in/out system (PMS), as well the security/access control and fire detections systems in a hotel. Then for any given incident Luminous allows you to define who will be contacted and how. Its power and sophistication means that it can make hundreds of simultaneous phone calls, as well as utilising other communication channels like SMS, email, smartphone apps or PA systems. All with full acknowledgement, audit trail and real time monitoring. And Luminous is working 24x7, giving your staff and guests the same support and at 2:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon.

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