Safety of customers’ belongings is a major concern where a hotel having in-room digital safes scores over those equipped with conventional safes. By Archana Sharma
Technology for safe-keeping of valuables has improved but so have the methods through which these safety measures can be challenged. According to Sudha Chandra, general manager, The Ashok, New Delhi, “We believe with the advent of new technologies, it is easier to crack the safes even though in-room safes have highly limited access to outsiders other than guests themselves. The security measures put in by the hotel have been quite successful to safeguard against theft and misplacement issues in the hotel as well as guest rooms.” From security guards, CCTV coverage, electronic locks, in-room safes, access control, hotels implement numerous ways to safeguard their guests. “We believe that by providing proper briefing to the guest at the time of check-in about the safety lockers and their operation, they can be safeguarded against theft and loss of articles,” states RK Sharma, general manager, Hotel Janpath, New Delhi.
Travellers can ensure the safety of their valuables after checking in. Rajesh Yadav, brand manager, Ozone Overseas, says, “With growing competition and demand for better hospitality, enhanced customer experience, every hotel takes all possible measures to get full marks from its customers. Safety of customers’ belongings is a major concern where a hotel having in-room digital safe scores higher than others. Having a safe in the hotel room offers greater peace of mind for a customer when they are away from room.” Ozone Overseas’ clients include The Taj, Le Meridian, Holiday Inn, JukasoInn, Hotel Taj resorts and many more.
The main criteria for selection of in-room safes is the dimension, space locations and décor from the aesthetics point of view, the designers choice and security. The Indian market has many digital safes options available today. Most hotels prefer medium size safes that can accommodate laptop, camera, jewellery and some important documents of its clients. These safes are digitally operated using pin/ password and offers audit trail feature that allows checking last operating records if required. Yadav believes that Ozone’s Persona Motorized safes are the most popular safe among hoteliers. “They come in five sizes offering freedom to hoteliers for choosing small or bigger size safe as per their budget and other requirements. A safe should be anchored or bolted inside the wardrobe or cupboard for better security of valuables,” she said.
The Ashok offers OS200 from Onity, an international brand. “It is one of Onity’s newest electronic in-room safes. Its user-friendly operation coupled with a high level of reliability and functionality makes it an ideal safe for any application,” adds Chandra.
According to Ajay Khanna, CEO and partner, Eagle Forgings, “The most popular choice of safes for hotels is the laptop size, front opening safe. These safes are preferred as they can accommodate a large laptop, and also have space for other guest essentials like cameras, passport, wallet, watch, jewellery and other commonly carried valuables.” He also believes that top opening safes are becoming popular as they can be installed into a desk’s drawer and or under counters, thus saving space and providing convenience of reach for a guest.
The products supplied by Eagle Forgings are developed especially for hotel use which incorporates all hotel requirements and features. The company supplies products to reputed three-star, four-star and five-star hotels including Indian and international groups.“The most popular safes are the Safeplace ‘Solid’ Laptop, ‘Solid’ Wide, ‘Extreme’ Laptop and ‘Extreme’ Deep, in the front opening type and the Tiara II in the top opening type,” highlights Khanna.
With the recent advent of new methods to open and gain access through security measures, everyone is looking towards new ways to safeguard against this.
While talking about the importance of digital safes, P Kumar Jain, director, Safetec Products states, “In case the electronic fails, one needs a mechanical override system as backup. However, with the modern and digital safes, it is a little easier to track the person opening the safes. Being software based, they can register the identity in terms of room number, date, time and place so that tracking becomes a little easier.”
However, there are times when even guests need ways to override this system. At The Ashok, the locked safe is opened by at least two personnel. The items are then deposited in the security control room after making a log entry of the same.
“Only a limited number of trained senior level supervisors and executives have the knowledge and details of the override procedures and codes of the in-room safes and lockers in case of an emergency. The security department has both electronic and manual safe locker master keys with which security personnel can open a safe locker in the presence of the guest and officials of the E&M (maintenance) and housekeeping,” states Chandra.