To all, but moreso single women...Are You Safe In A Hotel?
Are You Safe In A Hotel?
The setup was simple. A Local 2 intern checked into two hotels. Then, Local 2 Investigates asked Davis to see if he could figure out what room our intern was in and try to get a key to her room.
With our hidden cameras rolling at the first hotel, Davis pretended to be a guest by standing in the lobby. Our intern checked in and within 10 minutes, Davis found out her last name and her exact room number. Three hours later, Davis got a key to our intern's room. How did this happen?
When our intern checked in, the front desk clerk asked for her last name and she said it out loud. That was the first mistake. Never announce personal information because anyone standing in the lobby can hear it. Instead, hand the front desk clerk your ID and credit card. Also, never allow the clerk to announce your room number.
Good article. As a woman who travels alone quite a lot, I'm very careful about my surroundings at all times.
A tip I read a few years back makes sense to me: 75% of all hotel room break-ins occur within the first 1/2 hour the guest has arrived. Why? Most people, after checking into their room, organize their stuff a bit, then get right into the shower after traveling.
When you are in the shower, you cannot hear anything that 's going on in the rest of the room/suite. It cited people who had been robbed of purses, jewelry, passports and money - all because they didn't take their valuables into the bathroom with them. So, take that stuff into the bathroom - don't fight and get killed for it, but it will at least give you a sense of a little more security.
Very intersting - I never would have thought about someone overhearing my name or room number. I always put a chair against the door, something about having furniture in front of it always makes me feel like at least I will hear the door hit the chair if someone does try and get in.
Well one thing to remember if the deadbolt is locked a room key wont open the door.
A door bar that can be had at Lowes for $20 is reasonably packable and could be used as a weapon in a pinch.
Ive read of using rubber door wedges instead of the bar but I dont think they would be as resistant to someone who really wanted to get in. They make big ones that can also be found at Lowes.
I also travel with a glow-in-the-dark floppy frisby that I keep all the things that I may need to grab in an emergency in the middle of the night like my keys or cell phone or small flashlight. It goes on the nightstand next to the bed. In the middle of the night in a dark strange room its lot easier finding them that way.
CCL Inspiration 09
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern 09
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RCCL Explorer of the Seas Western '05
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CCL Destiny Southern '01
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I travel extensively for work, most often alone. We also travel as a family. The thing that I always do is use the deadbolt on the door in my room. It can not be opened using a normal room key so once you are in there you are as safe as you can be. If the front desk clerk announces my name or room number I immediately request a different room and I always check in using my confirmation number instead of my name.
One word of caution, that comes from having seen tragedy. In the late 1990s we were vacationing in the US and we stayed in a hotel late at night (that was not a hotel that I would have stayed in if I'd seen it in the daylight). Sadly there was a fire in the hotel. One room had a fatality because it was on the third floor and the woman who was in the room had used a chair to add additional security and the firepeople had to fight a lot harder to get into that particular room. She died from smoke inhalation, they said that she would have had a chance if the door had not been braced because they had already broken the deadbolt, but the chair in the smoke and the dark was too much to maneuver quickly. You should always keep a clear exit path.
Both of you have just added a TON of safety to these boards. As a former LEO and police instructor, I for one commend both of you!
As you so aptly pointed out, blocking the door with a chair as opposed to the deadbolt and/or what I describe as the steel loop and ball at the top of the door, has more than once, led to serious injury or a tragedy.
Sistagoldenhair, PLEASE take note of the above. For anyone to break through a motel door that has the normal safety devices, it's gonna' take at least a little time and they're gonna' have to create an awful lot of noise. It is definitely not advisable to block the door with a chair, even more so if you do it correctly.