Hotel Safety and Security: How to Make Your Next Hotel Stay Safer

Hotel safety and security is a concern for frequent travelers and those that just stay at a hotel occasionally. Hotel safety came into the mainstream media when Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews was stalked while staying at a Marriott in Nashville in 2008. Nude videos were taken of her by a stalker who got a hotel room right next to hers. She was recently awarded a $55 million judgement in the case.

Every Hotel Has Different Safety Policies and Procedures

What you will find when you stay at hotels is that every hotel is different and has different privacy and security policies. This is why it's important to check for safety issues the moment you check into a hotel. Studies have found that some hotels refuse to give out personal information while others are known to reveal a guest's name -- and they sometimes even give out their exact hotel room number. Shocked?

Here are some tips you should follow to be safer during your next hotel stay.

Stay at Hotels that Have Restricted Access

When you're selecting a hotel, look for one that has restricted access. Restricted access means hotels that block access to guest floors unless a person has a key to insert into the elevator. You can check this out when you go up to your hotel room. Another way to find out how secure the access is is to simply order a pizza and see if the pizza delivery person is able to get to your room or if you have to go down to the lobby to pick up your order. If the pizza delivery person is able to knock on your hotel door to deliver your pizza, then the hotel does not have tight restricted access.

Ask for a Room Change When You Arrive

Some hotels pre-block rooms before you check in, so hotel employees know in advance who is staying in what room. To be safe ask for a room change when you arrive at the hotel. This simple change can eliminate the chance of anyone knowing what your room number is.

Don't Use Your First Name When Checking Into the Hotel

An easy way to keep your information private is to not use your first name when you check into the hotel. Give the front desk your first initial and last name. If you're a woman traveling alone, you can use "Mrs." to give the impression that you're traveling with your husband.

Test the Front Desk

After you get to your room use your smartphone, call the front desk at the hotel and ask if you can speak with yourself. If the hotel gives you your room number, that's a red flag. The response they should use is, "Let me connect you." You can also check their safety policies by going down and tell the person at the front desk that your key card no longer works. They should ask you for some form of identification (so make sure you bring one with you!) If they just ask you what your room number is and hand you a new key, ask to speak with the hotel manager and express your concerns.

Put the "Do Not Disturb" Sign on Your Door When You Leave Your Hotel Room

When you leave your room you want to give the impression that someone is in the room. Put the "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door -- that gives people the impression that someone may be still in the room. Add an extra safety feature by keeping your TV on in your room to make it sound like people are talking or that someone is in there watching TV.

Try to Stay on Floors 4 Through 6

In the event of a fire, the highest floors a fire truck ladder can reach are typically floors four to six.

If fire safety is a concern of yours, you can also ask for a room that is close to the stairwell.

Don't Write Your Name on Door Hangers

Many hotels have door hangers that you can put on the outside of your door to order breakfast, for instance. If you decide to order breakfast in your room, do not put your name on the door tag -- only put your room number. If you put your name on the door hanger it's an easy way for someone to know the name of the person who's staying in your room.

By following these hotel safety and security tips, you can rest more easily in your hotel room and your stay will be much more comfortable.