Of course, hotel operators have a duty to keep their guests safe. No hotel stay will be successful without guests feeling safe and secure. So safety and security technologies need to adapt seamlessly to the dynamic hotel environment.
Electronic security can help compensate for the reduction in physical barriers in open lobbies by making it more difficult to gain access to restricted areas. Sophisticated access control solutions can allow for the dynamic control of all areas of a hotel as well as guest identification, customer loyalty and electronic payment all on one card. An interoperable system of video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection, will help hotel personnel to view any area whenever a door is opened or an alarm is triggered.
The guests themselves naturally demand to be protected from fire, but they do not want the unnecessary inconvenience of false alarms. Nothing upsets hotel guests more than an unwanted alarm from an incorrectly responding fire system, especially if it happens in the middle of the night or on several occasions during their stay. Fire detection in locations such as hotel lobbies with wide open areas and high ceilings can be challenging in responding quickly and accurately, whereas mixed-use areas have the greater potential for generating false alarms. The right choice of automated fire technology, however, combining intelligent early warning systems with a range of detectors that can adapt to any space, can virtually eliminate the risk of unwanted alarms, as well as avoiding an unnecessary call-out of the emergency services.
In the event of a genuine fire outbreak however, it may well be necessary to undertake a full-scale evacuation of the hotel. The integration of fire safety and building automation systems better supports evacuation, communication and intervention efforts.
An integrated building management system can automatically open blinds so that rescue through the windows is made easier. Multilingual evacuation messages can be issued instructing guests to leave their rooms in a rapid but orderly manner in as many languages as appropriate. TV screens in each room can be used to display the appropriate evacuation route. Electrical consumers can be immediately shut down and escape route lighting switched on. In addition, air dampers are shut and fans are turned off. If smoke builds up, air dampers are opened and fans turned on to ensure that escape routes are free from smoke and evacuation is easy. Revolving doors are completely opened and corridor lighting, outdoor and pathway lighting are all switched on, depending on brightness, motion or time of day. In the event of a power failure, safety is, of course, assisted by emergency lighting systems.
Constant communication with the emergency services can be established to ensure rapid and appropriate response and video monitoring systems assist security personnel to establish the situation in any part of the hotel. This networking makes it possible to ascertain if any guests are in difficulty, so that help can be swiftly arranged and ensures an orderly, complete and timely evacuation.