Safeguarding Room Keys and Guest Privacy

Room attendants will service about 16 guestrooms per day. In between rooms, they’ll make trips to the housekeeping office, supply storeroom, linen closets, employee break room, locker room, and more. To ensure guest privacy isn’t compromised, housekeeping employees must follow some basic, but necessary, procedures.

Key control. Keys must be accounted for at the start and end of each shift. Implement procedures where only supervisors, managers, or security personnel may issue and receive master and section keys. These keys must be signed out and back in by the housekeeping employee and countersigned by the issuer or receiver. You should also require that room attendants fasten the key to their person or clothing.

A small, locked, metal box with a slot should be fastened to the housekeeper cart so departed guests’ room keys can be deposited by the room attendant when servicing checked-out rooms.

Guest privacy. Guest names should be omitted from the cleaning list assigned to housekeepers. Train employees to always close and lock the guestroom door when departing a guestroom or visiting a housekeeping closet to retrieve more supplies. Also, insist that all connecting doors and windows are closed and locked before leaving the room. Finally, check the door’s viewing lens to ensure that it is secure and has not been removed or reversed.


About the Author
Dr. William D. Frye is an associate professor in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University and co-author of AH&LEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operation.

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Dr. William D. Frye is a hospitality educator, researcher, consultant, and former hotel general manager. He is the co-author of AHLEI’s housekeeping textbook Managing Housekeeping Operations.