Protecting Guests from Safe-Crackers

With videos circulating the internet of hotel safes being broken into with everyday items like pocket knives, screwdrivers and old key rings, and magnets, travelers are becoming increasingly aware of the possibility that their valuables are not as secure in a safe as previously thought.

That said, safes have never been completely secure. “Anybody with enough time and effort and motivation can get into any safe,” says Chad Callaghan, principal for Premises Liability Experts. “So safes are mainly put into hotel rooms as a convenience. They’re not meant to be all-encompassing vaults.”

Also, experts are quick to point out that safe cracking isn’t necessarily a huge problem for hotel guests. To get to a safe, a burglar must first get into the hotel room, which doesn’t happen often. But even armed with this information, many travelers are still concerned about safe cracking. Hotels can help quash these fears by showing that they take security seriously.

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Ravid Brosh, global product director for Assa Abloy Hospitality, says that beyond investing in high-quality door locks and safes, hotel owners should also have break-in and break-in attempt procedures in place before any issues occur.

Additionally, hoteliers can relay to guests that hotel safe technology is not stagnant. Safe companies continuously invest in efforts to be one step ahead of potential thieves and lock pickers. A few companies are working to improve the software located in a safe’s “brain.” This center of programming is becoming more complex and sophisticated, and when combined with advanced hardware, can guard against a variety of lock picking and safe-cracking methods. For example, safes with a motorized bolt are more resistant to being opened.

Brosh notes that is also important for hoteliers to remember that safes are security products that are not only made to protect guests’ privacy, but also to protect a hotel’s liability.