Monthly Archives: April 2013

Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Louisiana Hotel Sued By Guest Who Broke His Nose Walking Into A Glass Door; Claims “Unmarked Electric Glass Door Failed To Open Properly”

“…The (hotel) is accused of failing to keep doors properly functioning for its guest, failing to have doors properly marked for its guest, failing to Hospitality Industry Injury Lawsuitsensure the safety of its guest, failing to comply with the legal and contractual obligations for its guest, failing to act in good faith in paying for the losses of its guest and breaching its fiduciary duties and obligations for its guests…”

An Atlanta, Ga. man is suing a local hotel after he broke his nose when he walked face first into a glass door. Timothy Daniel filed a lawsuit against Clarion Inn & Suites, Choice Hotel International Inc. and their insurer in the Orleans Parish Central District Court on Feb. 15.

Daniel claims that while exiting the hotel building, without any warning signs, he walked into an unmarked electric glass door and broke his nose because the door failed to open properly.

The plaintiff is seeking full and just compensation for his losses caused by the injuries.

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Filed under Guest Issues, Injuries, Insurance, Liability, Management And Ownership

Hospitality Industry Technology Solutions: A “Hotel Technology” Checklist For Improved Guest Safety, Security And Convenience

Hotel Technology SolutionsThe following are from the “DO’s and DON’TS of Hotel Technology v5” for improved safety, security and convenience of hotel and resort operations:

  • Have universal power sockets with USB power sockets easily available for guest-use in public areas, especially Lobby Lounges, Dining areas, Club Lounges and Poolside – also have international adaptors handy
  • Have a smartphone compliant version of your hotel data file available for download on your website at the same time make sure your website is mobile compliant
  • Check all the peep holes on guest room doors to make sure they are secure and the right way round
  • Mount irons on wall brackets in closets instead of placing them on the floor or shelves
  • Clearly display broadband charges, if your hotel has any and have a sign-on page if your Government so requires it
  • Have an emergency torch/flashlight in the guest room
  • Have a person or system to monitor social networking sites for mentions about your hotel and respond appropriately and in a timely manner
  • Monitor what is written about your Hotel on Social networking sites like Trip Advisor
  • Put a notice on your HSIA sign-up screen that your government may block access to certain websites and internet services if they apply to you. Have your IT People know how to workaround this if the Guest asks
  • Make sure the electronic door lock on the guest room door closes quickly when the door shuts
  • Add CCTV cameras inside your Data Center – one that is directed to the server racks and the other, to the entrance door
  • Use electronic locks on your Server racks – not just metal keys
  • Use a bio-metric reader or PIN pad for staff entrance/egress that is linked to the Time and Attendance/Payroll System
  • Make sure your room safe is bolted down to a floor or wall and cannot be easily removed
  • Monitor the TV volume in the guest room so that it can go down very low and not too high. Some guests like to leave the TV on all night but at a very low background volume
  • Have a very low nightlight in the bathroom/toiletConsider using Motion/Presence [PIR] detectors rather than key cards to control energy in-room
  • Check from time to time in-the-floor power sockets – the metal type which are supposed to lift up when the clip if flicked – most often they stick after a while having been covered with floor polish and dust
  • Consider having a secure place where Guests can deposit their valuables and gadgets at the poolside or beach if they want to take a dip in the pool or use the sauna
  • Test your [magnetic] key cards to see if they de-magnetize when placed next to a mobile phone – often they do and is a great inconvenience to the guest as well as an operational chore
  • Have your IT team join such organizations as HFTP and HTNG so that they keep up to date with Hotel Technology – you should also sponsor them as well as have them attend various Conferences and Exhibitions
  • Regularly check and install Service Packs and software upgrades

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Filed under Guest Issues, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology

Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Texas Restaurant Is A “Total Loss” After Kitchen Fire Destroys Building; “Old Structure” Was Not Insured

“…No one was injured but the Yum Yums building was a total loss…it was not insured. Fire officials believe the fire sparked in Restaurant Firethe restaurant’s kitchen downstairs, but the exact cause is unknown. The structure is unsafe for fire investigators to go inside, so the department will not be able to determine an exact cause…”

Three people were uninjured following an early morning fire at a downtown Jacksonville restaurant Sunday. At 12:12 a.m., a man who lived in an apartment above Yum Yums Restaurant and Bakery, in the 200 block of South Main Street, woke up to an explosion sound and ran downstairs, said Jacksonville Fire Chief Paul White.

The structure fire was located about a block from the fire station, and firefighters arrived on scene at 12:13 a.m., White said. There was fire at the back of the building and heavy smoke in the front when firefighters arrived, he said. Flames were soon shooting from the roof and out windows.

The fire quickly consumed the old structure, making it unsafe for crews to be the inside the building. Five ladder trucks from numerous departments were on scene to help, White said.

“It was a big fire, and the ladder trucks saved the day,” White said. “It as too dangerous to go inside so it was basically a defensive fire. (firefighters) basically put a lot of water on it.”

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Hospitality Industry Safety Solutions: “Hotel Pool Safety Inspection Checklist Mobile App” Represents Latest Mobile Technology For Hotel Managers (Video)

The Pool and Spa Inspection Operators app provides detailed checklists that can be completed on a mobile device for the following areas: signs, safety features, chemicals, water clarity and general pool conditions, water circulation, pool facilities and general operation. This app also offers customization for pool or aquatic centers needs.

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Hospitality Industry Crime Risks: Las Vegas Hotel Guest Rooms Burglarized By Thieves “Walking Down Hallways And Door Pushing”; Victims Held In Bathroom While Personal Items Stolen

“…Thieves can walk down a hallway and just by slightly pushing on a door can determine those rooms that are left unsecured… But Hotel Burglariesjust days after the couple’s stuff was stolen from the Luxor, police arrested two men for a similar crime at Excalibur…This time police paperwork indicated the thieves held the victims in the bathroom and stole their stuff. Hueslkamp think it’s tied to his case and said the hotel should be responsible for what’s stolen…”

Some Las Vegas tourists expect to lose thousands gambling inside the casino, but if they’re not careful they could also get ripped off inside their hotel room. Huelskamp, an Ohio tourist, told Action News his story via Skype. He said that he and his fiance were staying at the Luxor and while they were sleeping a thief walked right into their room. It’s crime police call “door pushing” and it can happen at any hotel.

The couple took a photo of the door they thought closed behind them. There is no dead bolt and after a long road-trip to Las Vegas they went to bed thinking they were safe. “We went to bed, we know at 1:26 a.m. because we watched a movie on the iPad that was later stolen,” Huelskamp said. “It was no further than six inches away from my beautiful wife’s head.”
Police don’t know how often door pushing happens because they get hundreds of reports of burglaries every day. After this happened and even in travels today I am still a little weary about staying in a hotel no matter where we are,” he said.
The Luxor sent Action News a statement that reads “We are sorry for the Hueslkamp’s unfortunate experience. Our resorts have extensive security and surveillance systems in place but there is no substitute for being alert. Even on vacation, guests should always remain aware of their surroundings and ensure their hotel room doors are securely closed and locked at all times.”

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Insurance, Liability, Risk Management, Theft

Hospitality Industry Safety Solutions: Hotel Management Must Regularly “Test Emergency Power Supply System Generators With Load” To Ensure Guest Safety During Power Outage And Loss

“…the most important maintenance issue for emergency power supply systems is the requirement to regularly test the generators with load. Most often it becomes inconvenient to perform the test due to interruptions to delivering guest services. In order that proper testing of the Hotel Emergency Power Systemsemergency power distribution system doesn’t negatively impact hotel operations, modern technology enables a design engineer to develop an automatic power transfer system that provides a seamless transfer between the municipal utility supply and the generator system…”

Proper maintenance includes, but is not limited to, fuel filtration to reduce the possibility of contaminants, battery maintenance and replacement to ensure a successful generator start every time, and periodic load testing to reduce the possibility of failure.

Emergency generators are installed in hotels to prevent hazards associated with loss of municipal electric power supplies. The reliability of electric power supplies for Fire and Life Safety systems is critical. In a hotel, the automatic power transfer switches that transfer the electricity source to the emergency generator, must be timed to provide electric power to fire and life safety loads within 10 seconds and to standby loads within 60 seconds of loss of municipal power supply. The life safety loads include:

  • Illumination of exits from a hotel building leading to an assembly point
  • Emergency exit signs
  • Alarm and alerting systems such as the fire alarm system
  • Controlled emergency communication systems
  • Emergency generator-set room lighting
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Smoke management systems

An emergency power source cannot perform successfully unless each system component functions properly. While attention is often given to protecting the engine-generator set, components such as the fuel system, the age of the fuel (if using a fossil fuel product) and the emergency power transfer panels may not have the same degree of care. As a result, the emergency power source may fail.

For example if the engine-generator set in a hotel is installed on the roof to avoid being flooded, but the automatic power transfer system and emergency power panels are located in the basement, then in the event of a flood the system is likely to fail, regardless of the reliability of the engine-generator.

Hotel developers spend an enormous amount of money on emergency power supply systems so they are assured that in the event of an emergency, the hotel will have the power required to ensure the safety of their guests and associates.

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Illinois Restaurant Limits Floodwater Damage Through Installation Of “Special Flood Prevention Equipment”; $700,000 Cleanup Costs In 2008 Lowered To Under $1000 In 2013

“…special flood prevention equipment (was installed) at the McDonald’s after the 2008 flooding; including shutoff valves for the sewer lines, and Restaurant Flood Risksrubberized door dams… only about a half an inch seepage (from this flood) in the building through penetrations in pipes, and stuff like that, unlike 2008, (when there was) 27 inches…(the owner estimated there was) as much as $700,000 on cleanup from the 2008 flood, but only several hundred dollars this year…”

Two eateries next door to each other in northwest suburban River Grove were in very different stages of cleanup on Tuesday, as flood waters from the Des Plaines River slowly receded. WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, next door at the famous Gene and Jude’s Red Hot Stand, a big flood cleanup was underway on Tuesday. Workers were seen donning respirators while cleaning up inside on Tuesday, and tossing out flood-damaged debris, while the McDonald’s next door was getting ready to open for business.

It’s not that the flooding wasn’t as bad at the McDonald’s, it was the result inside the two restaurants.

“It’s money well-invested,” Karayanes said.

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Filed under Flood Insurance, Maintenance, Management And Ownership, Risk Management