Welcome to the Sky Touch Virtual Security Control Room.
In this glossary you will find the latest as well as long standing Security Technologies, Strategies, and Emergency Management you can expect today in Luxury Hotels, Leading Hotel Chains, or Large Hotels. We are introducing feasible leading-edge Technologies that can improve security in certain parts of the world.
We talk about security management systems, useful tips for hoteliers and we share interesting links to solution providers. The Security Control Room is in your hotel the command center. Therefore, it is important that the Safety & Security team is issued with adequate equipment.
If you are planning to establish a Security Control Room that suits your business needs, or you are considering upgrading your security systems, our team of experienced Hotel Safety & Security Advisers will be able to help you to make the right choices.
Hotels and Students are welcome to use this Glossary for quality and training purposes.
Alarm Response Management
Advances in technology now allows alarm systems to be connected to mobile devices. Be notified of an alarm event within your hotel whilst on the go.
Duress alarm buttons are common practice for the Reception, Bar/s, Gym, Spa (Sauna), and Hotel bedrooms suitable for guests with disability.
Mobile duress alarms provide peace of mind and meet welfare (Duty of Care) requirements in many countries. An effective solution for Housekeeping staff and Night Shift. In the event of an alarm activation, a signal gets transmitted to the Security Control Room, and the Security Officer on Duty can start with the intervention protocol.
The use of Bodycams in Hotels
The presence of the camera, which records evidential quality video and audio, has been proven to minimise physical and verbal attacks, due to the change in behaviour when people know they are being recorded. It also serves as an independent witness to help resolve complaints and disputes quickly and fairly. Wearing a Bodycam during patrol can protect the Security Guard or the Duty Manager (Not suitable for all hotels).
Customer Service experience: LOW
Employers Duty of Care: HIGH
CCTV – Ethical Code of practice
Surveillance cameras are no longer a passive technology that only records and retains images but is now a proactive one that can be used to identify people of interest and keep detailed records of people’s activities, such as with license plate recognition cameras. The Code provides a voluntary, risk-based approach to planning and implementing CCTV and allows each jurisdiction to determine and apply its own CCTV requirements. The background of the development of this Code is for counter-terrorism purposes (source: Surveillance Camera Commissioner UK).
The ethical code of practice contains 12 principles:
Principle 1 specified purpose – Use of a surveillance camera system must always be for a specified purpose which is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and necessary to meet an identified pressing need.
Principle 2 privacy – The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified.
Principle 3 contact – There must be as much transparency in the use of a surveillance camera system as possible, including a published contact point for access to information and complaints.
Principle 4 accountability – There must be clear responsibility and accountability for all surveillance camera system activities including images and information collected, held and used.
Principle 5 rules – Clear rules, policies and procedures must be in place before a surveillance camera system is used, and these must be communicated to all who need to comply with them.
Principle 6 storage – No more images and information should be stored than that which is strictly required for the stated purpose of a surveillance camera system, and such images and information should be deleted once their purposes have been discharged.
Principle 7 restrict access – Access to retained images and information should be restricted and there must be clearly defined rules on who can gain access and for what purpose such access is granted; the disclosure of images and information should only take place when it is necessary for such a purpose or for law enforcement purposes.
Principle 8 standards compliance – Surveillance camera system operators should consider any approved operational, technical and competency standards relevant to a system and its purpose and work to meet and maintain those standards.
Principle 9 unauthorised access – Surveillance camera system images and information should be subject to appropriate security measures to safeguard against unauthorised access and use.
Principle 10 review – There should be effective review and audit mechanisms to ensure legal requirements, policies and standards are complied with in practice, and regular reports should be published.
Principle 11 public safety – When the use of a surveillance camera system is in pursuit of a legitimate aim, and there is a pressing need for its use, it should then be used in the most effective way to support public safety and law enforcement with the aim of processing images and information of evidential value.
Principle 12 accuracy – Any information used to support a surveillance camera system which compares against a reference database for matching purposes should be accurate and kept up to date.
Codes for Emergency
Design – Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
CPTED is nothing else that an enhanced version of the design strategy “Form Follow Function” – well-known amongst architects and interior designers.
In context of crime prevention, this means designing a property a certain way that it reduces the risk of crime. Designing hotels smarter, more practical and with the knowledge we have today. CPTED considers 5 key elements:
1. Natural Surveillance
Adequate lighting at all access points, or eliminating corners that create blind spots, are practical examples for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Criminal activity tends to drop when the perpetrators realise they being watched. This is where video-surveillance cameras at strategic locations come into place.
2. Natural Access Control
This can be achieved with a design strategy that limits the opportunity for crime by increasing the effort required to approach a target. Putting the Reception at the entrance with a good view of the doors is an effective method. Or having a secure cloakroom instead of leaving luggage sit somewhere in the lobby can mitigate the risk.
3. Territorial Reinforcement
Clear definitions of the property boundaries are of high importance. The boundary has also a protective role to play. Aiming to protect people from harm (e.g. from hostile vehicles attacks) can be achieved with the right risk mitigation strategy. This can include bollards, steps and concrete barriers that are part of the design.
A well-maintained hotel sends the message that people notice and care about what happens in an area. The “Broken Windows Theory”, is the idea that one broken window will entice vandals to break another. For this reasons, we have in our audits a strong focus on the maintenance schedule (CCTV systems, Fire Safety Equipment, Public Address, Alarm Systems etc.).
5. Target Hardening
Target Hardening simply means adding security measures. It is another strategy that is often mentioned in connection with CPTED. Making it more difficult to enter a property is here the goal. Protective Window Films or additional locks on doors are another level of defense.
Evacuation signs in crawling height
Fact is, that in most cases evacuation signs that are installed on the ceiling are not easily visible when corridors are full of smoke. Smoke can be very dark, depends what’s causing it.
When illuminated evacuation signs are also installed at a crawling height, the chances of a quick escape are much higher. Some hotel chains agree and started to equip properties with additional illuminated evacuation signs to guide guests to the nearest fire exit.
Fire Safety & Emergency Planning Compliance
NEW – Managing fire safety compliance has never been easier. With FIRESAFE for example, you can store and maintain all Crisis Management Plans in one central location. It is a user-friendly cloud-based software to manage your Emergency Plans. At a touch of a button it generates the EMP (Emergency Management Plan).
Fire safety in any hotel is vital. Therefore, a hotel has a lot of fire safety equipment installed that needs maintenance on a regular basis. FIRESAFE can help hotels to remain in line with regulations. Switching over to an electronic asset register and electronic maintenance schedule solution can save time and money.
Online Dashboard: YES
Asset Register: YES
Mobile Friendly: YES
Compiling and publishing
Emergency Management Plans: YES
Guard Tour System
A Guard Tour Patrol System is an automated system to help security companies to organize, log and execute guard tours and patrols in their properties.
The Security Officer or Duty Manager who is on a patrol swipes a handheld device (see photo below) at a RFID-chip, or is scanning a barcode that is mounted on the wall. Suitable checkpoints are, Fire stairs, loading dock, car park/garage, plant room, emergency exits, offices, fire stairs, roof top, pool area area etc.
They are also Smartphone Applications on the market that allow you to schedule Events for the guards. GPS tracking technology will assist the Security Control Room Operator to follow the guard in real-time. History and Events are stored in a secure cloud.
Holiday Resort Hotels who are at high risk of active shooting
NEW: A gunfire locator or gunshot detection system is a system that detects and conveys the location of gunfire or other weapon fire using acoustic sensors. Most suitable for beach front properties. These systems are already used by law enforcement, security, military and businesses to identify the source and, in some cases, the direction of gunfire and/or the type of weapon fired.
Click here to learn more about Shotspotter Gun Detection.
Next generation of In-Room Safes
ARCARIUS Luxguard is a safe that dramatically reduces the current risk of theft. Not only is it equipped with a watch winder, charging facility for electronic devices, and a special tray for jewellery, the safe also comes with a new user-friendly app. The guest can monitor and control the safe (optional) with a smartphone. Because it comes with an interface to the PMS-system, a revolutionary ‘Empty Safe Detector’ will remind the guest if anything was left behind. This detector can also be used to audit the safe in real-time.
A panic-code with a silent alarm is also a feature, that most of the other in-room safe manufacturers cannot provide. It is a fire and burglar resistant safe, that meets European security norms by VDMA regulations EN24992 Class B. To the best of our knowledge it is the only In-Room Safe that has a certified lock like a bank safe. Because of its high security reinforced steel structure, anti-drill plate, FBI-certified fingerprint reader, double steel wall structure, and high-security electronic lock, the trendsetter was able to achieve a new standard in hotel security. With their software system, the integrity of the safe is guaranteed, avoiding direct involvement of the hotel staff in the security of the safe.
Because it fulfills the requirements of a weapon safe too, this safe is a good standard in the rooms next door, used by personal protection guards travelling with Diplomats and VIPs. From a global risk perspective, providing a product like this to selective guests adds a unique value to the existing hotel product – especially in countries and cities with a higher crime rate.
Electronic Key Cabinets
Providing staff and contractors access to guest bedrooms, F&B outlets, tills, secure areas, equipment, and vehicles – keys are one of the most important assets to manage.
Too many hotels still rely on a logbook in which cursory details of keys taken and returned are entered by hand and confirmed by an illegible signature. This is an arrangement that is inefficient, unreliable and makes tracing keys an almost impossible task. An electronic key management system is here “the Key” to secure, manage and audit the use of every key. It ensures that only authorised staff are allowed access to the key cabinets and only then, to designated keys. An electronic key cabinet is a key management system that provides a full audit trail of who removed the key, when it was taken and when it was always returned keeping your employees accountable.
For any advise on Lockdown please contact us by email
What the lighthouse has done for shipping over the years, the Global Lighthouse Certification Program does for Hotels worldwide by ensuring they offer safe havens for travellers and staff in a world facing ever-increasing security risks. In an age when security is paramount, the Global Lighthouse Certification Program is a beacon shining a light on Hotel security and providing innovative solutions and changes to the Hotel industry worldwide. In this context of this website and figuratively speaking, the Lighthouse used to be seen as the checkpoint or control room.
Sky Touch identified 125 Global Hotel Security Standards. Most of these standards are already known as best practice in the leading hotels around the world. It provides management with a mechanism to reduce security risks at an affordable cost.
Hotels certify to:
• Strengthen the hotel brand
• Meet duty of care for employees
• Enhance guest confidence
• Meet corporate requirements
Hotels gain an advantage by choosing a proactive position and showing their customers that they are providing world class hotel security standards. When the hotel becomes a certified safe haven, Travel and Risk Managers will be quick to give it preferred status.
Learn more about Global Safety & Security Standards
For any advise on Media and Crisis Communication Plans please contact us by email
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are technical and operational requirements set by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to protect cardholder data. The Council is responsible for managing the security standards, while compliance with the PCI Security Standards is enforced by the payment card brands. The standards apply to all organizations that store, process or transmit cardholder data – with guidance for software developers and manufacturers of applications and devices used in those transactions.
This means for hotels:
• Fire Walls – The hotel has a fire wall/s and regular updates of anti-virus software installed;
• Passwords – The hotel has overwritten default system passwords (from vendors) and uses their own set of passwords;
• Data Storage – The hotel stores cardholder data safe and secure (electronically and physically);
• Encryption – Cardholder data is transmitted encrypted;
• Own password – Everyone who has access to computers has their own unique password;
• Restriction – Physical access to cardholder data is restricted and on a need to know basis;
• Tracking & Monitoring – Access to the network is tracked and monitored by the management;
• IT-Policy – The hotel maintains an IT policy;
• Training – Hotel staff that deal with electronic payment are trained in how to treat credit card details confidentially and professionally;
• Confidentiality – All staff who deal with electronic payment have signed a confidentiality agreement.
The eHotelier Academy provides a continuous professional development framework to support people working in hotels.
Sky Touch Global partnered with the eHotelier Academy 6 years ago, to help members of the Security Sector to acquire more knowledge about the Hotel Business and improve Customer Service Skills. With the right qualifications, Security Professionals are able to obtain a better understanding of Hotels, and maybe even achieve a career in Hospitality.
Radio Communication – International 2-Way Radio Lingo
Sensitive data transmission over a 2-way Radio
It is best practice in hotels to use an earpiece with a 2-way radio. You or a colleague could be standing next to a hotel guest, while someone else is transmitting sensitive information the guest should not hear.The use of codes is another option to avoid panic or concern guests and staff. In certain circumstance, while you are dealing with an incident (providing first aid, dealing with person of interest etc.) you have only few seconds to call for help. Colour codes are the solution and may vary from property to property.
Heav duty first aid kits can save life’s and should be mandatory in every hotel in addition to ordinary first aid kits. The kits contain first aid material that can stop very heavy bleeding, such as from gun-shots or terror attack injuries. It can help to save valuable time until emergency services arrive.
Triangle of Life
Hotels in earthquake regions should have a Disaster Management Plan. It is important to educate the hotel guests of what to do when experiencing an earthquake. The “Triangle of Life” turned out to be a reasonable approach. In the event of an earthquake, do not hide under a desk or in a doorway. If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position. In earthquake regions, the Security Control Room should have a designated Safe Zone for the staff.
Vehicle Screening Point/s
For any advise on vehicle screening points, procedures, and training & qualifications, please contact us by email
X-RAY screening in hotels
For any advise on X-RAY devices in hotels, qualifications and compliance, please contact us by email