Why Staff Need Panic Alarm Systems

Today, more and more attention is being called to dangers of working in public places. Hotel staff are faced with more dangers than usual and work in a very unique environment. Hotel staff, specifically housekeepers, must clean and organize each of the rooms to their hotel’s and the customer’s satisfaction. However, as housekeepers of your suit they get to know you best. They have to clean your place, see your mess, and are usually blamed if something goes wrong. In this blog, we are going to discuss the struggles of being a hotel staff member and how hotels today are doing something about the mistreatment of their workers.

The Strife of a Hotel Worker

As stated, your hotel housekeeper knows you better than most. They can come inside your room and witness the mess you have left behind, the damage you may have done to the room, and even how you used the suite you stayed in. Not only that, but seasoned cleaning staff can tell your habits, such as whether you smoke, how often you showered, how restless you are when you sleep, and even how organized your luggage is.

Of course, this is not to say that your cleaning assistant is rummaging through your stuff. In fact, when they are hired, all staff are trained in how to properly work for customers. Cleaning staff, especially, have to be trained to not move any object that belongs to the customer.

Yet, despite all the regulations and rules for cleaning staff, many guests think that housekeepers are sneaky and cunning pranksters. For instance, if anything goes wrong during the stay of a guest, the maid is almost always blamed. If anything goes missing whatsoever, the maid is accused of stealing. So, if a case cannot be resolved, the hotel will typically have to let that employee go. This means that housekeeper careers can seem very disposable, right? Well, in fact, most housekeepers depend on their jobs for their income to feed themselves and their families. And, though hotels don’t have to pay their employees incredible sums to clean their suites, hotels still need to ensure that they are not only paying their employees fairly, but also keeping them safe as well.

Housekeepers go through a lot.

From having to clean up rowdy guests’ rooms to even being harassed by disorderly hotel customers, housekeepers are “put through the wringer.” And, worse of all, they are put through all of this strife for little to no tips.

Harassment in Hotels

When guests pay for a hotel, they are usually celebrating a special event, such as a wedding or a vacation. During these times, guests can have a bit too much “fun” and can become obnoxious guests very quickly. For one, hotel guests can easily trash their hotel room, with little regard for hotel keepers, their room neighbors, and even the hotel itself. Hotel housekeepers can be exposed to terrifying situations, such as walking in on hotel guests that are “indecent” or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Scenarios like these are rare, as a hotelkeeper, they happen more than they need to. And, worst of all, housekeepers are unable to protect themselves.
Though Hollywood films, such as Maid in Manhattan, romanticize the relationship between hotel guest and housekeeper, these instances are extremely rare. Most housekeepers like to work by themselves, quickly, and don’t care to know their guests. However, unfortunately, some guests feel as if they can take advantage of hotel staff because they are unarmed. And worse, hotel staff demographics in housekeeping are mostly female, which means victims of sexual assault and harassment are hotel staff females.
What is far more upsetting about the struggles of hotel housekeeping is that many can be abused by hotel guests, yet feel that they cannot speak about their mistreatment. In smaller hotels, some housekeepers can feel trapped into secrecy because they don’t want to lose their only source of income. Because hotel cleaning employees want to keep their jobs, they are less likely to speak up about their mistreatment. Luckily, with the attention to the “Me Too” movement and other focuses to harassment across all industries, the hotel companies are making changes to benefit their workers.

The Five-Star Promise

The Five-Star Promise is a promise made by five major hotel brands to provide safety devices to their employees. Panic button systems are being implemented through these major hotel companies to ensure that each employee is safe from harm by a guest or a trespasser.

There are the five hotels that are making changes to benefit their workers:

  • Hilton
  • Hyatt
  • InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Marriott
  • Wyndham

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) also agreed to the promise statement made by these hotel chains early this year. The agreement states that each of the major hotel companies will not only implement panic button devices to their employees, but offer training, defense courses, and hotel safety as they relate to sexual assault and harassment in hotels.

Why is this Promise a Big Deal?

The mistreatment of housekeepers in hotels have been going on for years, why has it taken this long for companies to do something about it? Well, like anything else, change takes time, but the attention to the rights and safety of employees and women have been monumental in the last year. In just a few years, movements, funds, and organizations have been built to protect female workers from harassment in the workplace. And, this Five-Star Promise is a huge step for housekeepers in terms of their safety and their right to work without fear of being taken advantage of. More importantly, it is a promise and a formal recognition by hotels that they are aware that they have let their employees work in vulnerable conditions. This promise is their way of not only addressing the issue that housekeepers need protection, but actually enforcing it throughout their businesses.

The push for duress buttons for housekeepers and other hotel employees has been a long-time problem. Many employees have called for added protection from their employers with no changes in sight, however, certain regions have made it mandatory to have every employee armed with a panic button. These areas include New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, and Seattle.
After the public announcement of this promise, other hotel chains have followed in the push for panic buttons and have stated that safety panic button systems will be integrated throughout every hotel in their business by 2020. So, yes, this promise is a big deal. It is marking a change in how big hotel chains operate their businesses and protect their employees.

SecurAlert

If you are interested in offering a protection system for your hotel employees, now is the time to do so. Protect your employees from disorderly guests and even fellow employees. SecurAlert systems are designed to offer an immediate distress signal when pushed. Not only that, but our technology has ultrasonic technology to locate exactly where your distress button is. This means that employees cannot only alert the authorities of a distressful situation, but they can even notify for help exactly where they are located. This means that hotels can not only send help when employees are in trouble, but catch the aggressor. Contact us today to learn more about our duress button systems.