Hotel safes are available that can be opened and closed with a swipe card instead of a combination or key, this means that the same card used for unlocking the room door could be used to open the safe or if the hotel prefers the customer could use their own credit card.
Hotel room safes provide guests with a more secure method to keep their valuables safe while they’re away from home. If you’re still not completely confident in using one, you also have the option of using your own lock to secure your briefcase with your belongings inside.
The hotel safe is one of the must-haves in a hotel room. A good hotel room gives the home-away-from-home, safety plays a major role in this. A well-functioning safe is an important factor, not only in the hotel room but also behind the reception.
What to think of when purchasing a new hotel safe.
One of the perhaps obvious choices you face when selecting new hotel safes is size. Based on the type of hotel guest, a business guest will need a laptop-sized safe, whereas a leisure guest often needs a safe that fits just a tablet, camera and passport. In many cases, the size of the hotel safe also depends on where it is placed in the hotel room. The hotel safe is often in the (wardrobe) cupboard, in this case it is important to check whether a safe fits and whether it can be operated properly. The smallest safe fits a telephone, keys, jewellery and a passport. The largest safe can easily fit a widescreen laptop and other personal belongings.
Even bigger than the largest hotel safe is the reception safe. This type of safe is used back of house for larger valuables and, for example, storing cash. These safes are equipped with shelves for extra storage convenience. A variant of this is the so-called deposit safe, this type of safe can be assembled in all kinds of ways and is specifically suitable for depositing money at the end of a shift.
A safe can be placed separately in a wardrobe or elsewhere in the hotel room. However, some hotel safes can also be built-in or attached to the wall or floor. This provides extra protection for the goods and prevents misuse of the safe, this option can also save space. Naturally, during installation or wall mounting, the applicable safety regulations must be taken into account and approved mounting materials must be used at all times.
The most common safe opening is a door with a turning mechanism. There are also safes that open with a drawer and top-open safes. The word drawer safe says it all; you open this model with a code and then pull the unlocked drawer from the safe towards you. The storage space of a drawer safe is optimal because there is no need to take into account the rotating hinge when opening. A top-open safe is a safe whose front panel rises when unlocked by means of a compact hydraulic system. The door will then be at an angle of approximately 65 degrees.
Depending on where the safe is placed, the above safes can be practical solutions.
At the moment a LED or LCD panel is the most common type of safe control. When using a safe with LCD/LED panel, the hotel guest can enter a personal numerical code to open the safe again after closing, often 4 to 6 digits.
Another option for operating a hotel safe is a model with card reader. This type of safe is equipped with a reader that opens or closes the safe using a magnetic card.
Masterkey or Mastercode
Both offer the hotel management the possibility to open the safe if the guest has forgotten the self-chosen numerical code or if the safe remains closed unintentionally for whatever reason.
A master key is separate key that is supplied with many different safes and is only to be used by hotel management and must be kept properly. This key is specifically linked to the series in which the hotel safes came out of production and can open the locker on the back of the safe or behind the control panel. Reordering a master key, for example when it gets lost, is only possible in exceptional cases.
A master code must be implemented by the hotel management when installing the hotel safe. If this does not happen, the safe is equipped with a standard master code which may be known to parties with bad intentions. In this case, the master code is not an extra security but a threat. If the master code has been installed correctly, the hotel management can open a safe at any time by entering the relevant numerical code. An exception to this is when the batteries of the safe are dead, entering the master code is pointless in this case because the system will not work because it has no power supply.
Tip: always check the status of the batteries, but also; keep the master key safe at all times. Despite working with a master code, the master key may still be necessary when, for example, the master code gives an error or the batteries of the safe are dead.
The last option for opening a hotel safe by the hotel management is to use a remote control. A remote control can be purchased separately for certain models and is a small electronic device used to manage and control one or more safes. The device restores and opens the vaults and can read up to 200 past operations.
Taking this one step further, consider investing $10-$50 in security luggage cables that physically lock your suitcase or equipment down. Using a security cable, you can easily secure your bag to a pipe in the bathroom or a stationery piece of furniture. Note, make sure you’re using a slash proof bag.
Using the safe in your hotel room doesn’t mean your things are locked up. Most hotels have a back-way into their in-room safes, be it a master key or a master code. Management has access to these in case they need to assist guests if they loose their keys/code to the safe. This poses a security risk since there are people who can access your belongings.
If you’re not staying in a hotel that has a safe or simply don’t want to deal with a safe, check out a few diversion safes. These are items that appear to be everyday objects but they’re so much more. A simple hairspray bottle that’s been emptied out to hold cash or jewelry. Shaving cream cans and soda cans where the tops screw off or a book that has a hidden compartment, all create perfect containers to store valuables and travel documents.
If you don’t need your room cleaned, hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door to keep cleaning staff out of the room. This doesn’t just eliminate possible thefts from hotel staff but from someone pretending they are staying in your room and coming back to grab a few things while the room is being cleaned. If someone is in the room, they’re going to avoid that room. The Do Not Disturb sign isn’t a sure fire way to keep cleaning crews out of your room though. You will need to call down to the front desk ask them to not clean your room.
Don’t travel with your valuable jewelry, aka expensive, sentimental diamond earrings.
Don’t leave items just laying around your room – jewelry, technology, computers, notebooks, cameras, even receipts (think identity theft).
When you leave make sure your door is locked. Sounds silly but take a moment and turn around to make sure the door has closed and the lock has engaged.
Don’t share your room number with others.