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  • Writer's pictureThomas Maguire

Panic Button Systems for Hospitality Implementation Slow Going, But Still Needed

Due to the nature of their jobs, hotel employees often work alone and work late hours. On average, a full-time housekeeper cleans about 14 or more rooms per day. When cleaning guest rooms, these employees are sometimes the only person on the hotel floor with a cleaning cart and guest room phone nearby. Being alone puts her in a vulnerable situation where they may be a victim of a variety of attacks or inappropriate behavior and consequently, they are vulnerable to sexual assaults and workplace violence. 58% of hotel workers disclosed that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted during the course of their work, and 49% of hotel workers reported that guests have subjected them to some form of indecent exposure when they opened guestroom doors.

According to the AHLA, almost 60 hotel companies representing 20,000 properties have made the pledge to equip employees with panic buttons/ safety devices as a part of the AHLA’s 5-star promise. It has been estimated that 5,000 hotels have already issued safety devices/ hotel panic buttons to employees, but thousands of hotels have yet to comply.

Hotel workers around the country remain vulnerable to assaults and these violent attacks are becoming more prevalent. This year alone there have been numerous cases of violence against hotel employees:

  • In January of 2021, a New York City hotel worker, was attacked in the building's lobby by a man with a knife.

  • In March of 2021, a hotel front desk employee was attacked when he wouldn’t provide a room key to a non-guest.

  • Also in March of 2021, a guestroom attendant in a Las Vegas hotel was attacked and assaulted while at work.

  • In April of 2021, a guestroom attendant in Salem, New Hampshire was ambushed and strangled while in the process of cleaning a room.

  • In May of 2021, a hotel employee operations manager in Queens, NY was attacked by someone with a hammer hotel.

Many of the larger hotel chains such as Marriott International Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and others have committed to implementing a system over the next year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the properties had to delay accomplishing the goal of having panic button systems in place by the end of 2021 which is understandable considering the financial strain the pandemic created in the hospitality industry. Although these major hotel brands have been focusing on employee safety and some states and cities have passed laws requiring that hotel employees be equipped with hotel panic buttons, hotels need to act quickly to ensure the safety of their most vulnerable employees.

For those ready to learn more about how you can upgrade your safety measures at your hotel, please contact us today for a free 30-minute demo!


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