How safe are your guests?

Monica Or, columnist and Hospitality Consultant at Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy discusses how hoteliers need to ensure their staff are up to date in dealing with any emergency situation..

Sadly this month alone London has been affected by two atrocities. The attack on London Bridge and the fire at Grenfell Towers. The health and safety of your guests is everyone’s responsibility and it is at times like this that we have a stark reminder that we need to ensure we are fully compliant. We also need to ensure that our staff have been fully trained in how to handle such situations.

At the time of writing this the current threat level in London is classified as severe, which means an attack is highly likely. The UK has had three terrorist attacks in as many months the first on Westminster Bridge, the second in Manchester Arena and the third on London Bridge and Borough Market.

The tragic fire at Grenfell Towers was allegedly started by a faulty fridge in one of the flats. The lack of sprinklers and not enough fire exits also contributed to the incident as did the cladding around the building which may have accelerated the fire.

Action and advice that you should take now:

– Review your ‘Disaster Manual’ and make sure any possible eventuality is logged with a clear procedure of how to handle it.

– Make sure your risk assessments are up to date.

– Ensure your staff are trained on the advice from NaCTSO the National Counter Terrorism Security Office which is to Run, Hide, Tell if faced with a terrorist threat.

– NaCTSO have a publication giving detailed advice specifically for Hotels and Restaurants which can be downloaded from the gov.uk website. Review this and implement it for your property.

– Review your fire safety within your property. When carrying out fire drills, rather than just carrying out an evacuation make it more realistic by blocking areas off and working out alternative escape routes.

– Seek professional advice from your local police, fire brigade and security services.

Prevention is better than cure. You need to be prepared for any eventuality. You owe it to yourself, your staff and your guests.

From all of these recent tragic events what has been evident is the compassion and generosity of the public who have pulled together and shown their hospitality to those affected. Although it is the aftermath that has the deepest impact. If you, or your friends and family have been affected by any of these events and they work in the hospitality industry then Hospitality Action are here to help. Their 24 hour hotline is 0808 202 0282.

About Monica Or: As the founder of Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy, Monica specialises in working operationally with the owner/managers of independent hotels and restaurants focusing on their business structure and service delivery. She is the Amazon Best Selling author of ‘Star Quality Hospitality – The Key to a Successful Hospitality Business’ and ‘Star Quality Experience – The Hotelier’s Guide to Creating Memorable Guest Journeys’.
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