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Hotel Guest Room as a "Safe Haven"

Hotels are required to provide reasonable care to ensure that guests have a safe and secure stay. Hotels are not required to guarantee guest security. You are responsible for your personal security and property.

While in the room, keep the door closed and engage the dead bolt and privacy latch or chain. A limited number of hotel emergency keys can override the dead bolt locks. To ensure privacy use the latch or chain!

Hoteliers provide guest room "safes" for the convenience of guests. However, these containers are not as durable as bank safes and can be breached. Furthermore, the Housekeepers Liability Laws provide that if guest property is not in the "care, custody and control of the hotel," the hotel is not liable. Guests should always place money or valuables in the safe deposit box at the front desk of the hotel.

When leaving the guest room, ensure that the door properly closes and is secured. Make a mental note of how your property was left; avoid leaving valuables in plain view or in an unorganized manner. A number of hotel employees enter the room each day to clean, repair and restock the room. Although most hotel employees are honest and hardworking, a few succumb to the temptation of cash or jewelry left unprotected.

If you determine that an item is missing, conduct a thorough search prior to reporting the incident to hotel security. Do not expect to receive a copy of the security report, as it is an internal document. The incident should be reported to the local police, the Regional Security and Consular Officers at the U.S. Embassy, and your insurance carrier. Hotel security can provide a letter verifying that you reported property missing.

Prior to traveling, it is recommended that you copy all credit cards, passport, air tickets and other documents to facilitate reporting loss and replacing them. While traveling abroad, secure these documents in the room safe deposit box and carry copies of your passport and visa.

Request housekeeping make up your room while you are at breakfast, rather than leave a "Please Service This Room" sign on the door knob. This sign is a signal to criminals that the room is unoccupied.

If you are required to use parking stickers in your auto, be sure that it does not indicate your name or room number.

Last Updated: March 2, 1996