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Hotel Room Defense: A Guide to Improving Your Safety

September 11, 2023

Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, your hotel room should be a safe retreat from a day of business or leisure. While hotels strive to provide secure accommodations, it's essential to take your security into your own hands. In this brief article, we summarize 10 pointers from modern self-defense experts on the best ways to secure a hotel room against unwanted intruders.

  1. Choose the Right Room: The first line of defense starts with your room selection. Opt for rooms located between the third and sixth floors; they are less likely to be targeted by burglars or accessible from the street. Avoid ground-level rooms and those near exits or stairwells, as they can be more vulnerable.
  2. Use the Deadbolt and Additional Locks: Upon entering your room, engage the deadbolt lock immediately. It provides an extra layer of security beyond the standard door lock. Some travelers also carry portable door locks or wedges to further secure the door, ensuring no one can enter, even with a master key.
  3. Secure Sliding Doors and Windows: If your hotel room has sliding doors or windows, secure them with additional locks or bars to prevent unauthorized access from the outside. These entry points can be overlooked by hotel staff, making them potential weak spots.
  4. Keep Valuables Out of Sight: Don't store your valuables out in the open or in view of the entry door or exterior windows. Use the room safe or hotel safe deposit box for important items like passports, jewelry, and excess cash. Keep laptops and electronics concealed when not in use.
  5. Use a Door Alarm: Consider packing a portable door alarm. These devices emit a loud sound if someone attempts to open your door, alerting you and potentially deterring intruders. Many are compact and easy to use, making them a valuable travel companion.
  6. Don't Share Your Room Number: Be cautious about sharing your room number with strangers. Use discretion when discussing your accommodations in public areas or on social media. This minimizes the risk of someone with ill intentions targeting your room.
  7. Know Your Exits: Familiarize yourself with the emergency exit routes and locations of fire extinguishers on your floor. In the unlikely event of a fire or other emergency, knowing the quickest way out can be life-saving.
  8. Use the Peephole: Always use the peephole to verify the identity of anyone knocking at your door, especially if you weren't expecting them. Be cautious about opening the door to unknown individuals, even if they claim to be hotel staff.
  9. Use a Security Camera App: Modern technology offers apps that turn your smartphone into a security camera. Use this to monitor your hotel room when you're not there. Set it up discreetly to keep an eye on your belongings.
  10. Trust Your Instincts: Above all, trust your instincts. If something feels off or suspicious, don't hesitate to report it to hotel security or management. Your well-being is paramount, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Securing your hotel room against unwanted intruders is a vital aspect of travel safety. By taking these proactive measures and staying vigilant, you can transform your hotel room into a fortress of solitude, providing you with the peace of mind you need to enjoy your stay. Remember, your safety is your responsibility, and a little preparedness goes a long way in ensuring a secure and enjoyable trip.

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