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A Tip For Hotel Room Safety

I always travel with a door wedge (cheap, Amazon $4.99) to put under my door. That is a good "robber stopper"

WhateverLA

Posted by
8293 posts

Hands up all those who have ever had their hotel room robbed, or know of someone who has their hotel room robbed, or actually are fearful of having their hotel room robbed.

Posted by
1999 posts

There was a hotel in Cairo in 1998 that could have used a door stopper but there were other things more worrisome such as the tiny blood spots on the sheets which were somewhat rumpled on arrival and the bathroom down the hall where I felt cleaner without taking a shower!

Posted by
922 posts

Thanks for the reminder WhateverLA. Not a thing wrong with going the extra step to increase your safety and many people travel with a door stop.

Posted by
3355 posts

I wear my money let, so there's nothing of value when I'm out of the room.

When I was traveling to Sydney for work, the conference center had outside doors (not my preference) and no deadbolt on the door, so I placed the hairdryer on the tile floor, so at least the sound of it would wake me up if anyone came into the room....helped me sleep soundly. : )

Let's not start talking about coming through the windows!

Posted by
8293 posts

A door stop can only be used when you are in the room. My feeling is that if you are vulnerable at all to thievery in a hotel, it is when you are out for the day.

Posted by
4498 posts

Most hotels I've been in have a interior security lock that you can latch when in the room. Not the deadbolt that can be opened by staff but like a door chain (sometimes it is a door chain).

I have had people come into my room while occupied due to snafu's with the key card and room assignments. Rare but it can happen. So it's not a bad idea to use the extra lock or a door stop if that makes someone more comfortable.

Posted by
5486 posts

I had the opposite problem that Douglas experienced. I arrived in Texas close to midnight. The night clerk gave me what turned out to be an occupied room. Entered but before turning on the lights noticed that the bed didn't appear to be made. Then I saw the cowboy boots next to the bed. Quickly backed out wondering if Texas cowboys slept with loaded six shooters. Clerk came running with the correct key card.

Posted by
516 posts

Thanks for suggesting this WhateverLA. Most hotels these days (larger ones anyway), have the latch and bolt style locks that swing shut. But these only work when you're in the room, similar to the good old fashioned chain that slides onto a groove.

The reason why these measures, and therefore the door stop, are helpful, is that if you are fast asleep, in the bathroom, out on the balcony, or otherwise cannot hear housekeeping knock on the door, housekeeping will assume no one is in the room and use the master key to unlock the door and come in.

Posted by
8293 posts

I don't get it, KC. If you don't hear housekeeping knocking at the door and they enter your room, surely you would speak up or surely they would notice your presence, and after apologies they would leave. If you don't want housekeeping to enter your room, put the "do not disturb" sign on the outside door handle.

Posted by
4498 posts

If you don't hear housekeeping knocking at the door and they enter your room, surely you would speak up or surely they would notice your presence, and after apologies they would leave. If you don't want housekeeping to enter your room, put the "do not disturb" sign on the outside door handle.

Sure they will apologize, but if you walk out from the shower in your birthday suit, you won't be happy and they might be forever scarred ;-)

The "do not disturb" sign only works if you remember to put it out, it doesn't fall off the handle and it's housekeeping that is trying to get into your room and not some weary-eyed traveler given the wrong room number.

Posted by
104 posts

Not that it matters, I do know someone who was attacked in their hotel room!

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback!

WhateverLA

Posted by
3249 posts

That's scary.

I've traveled a lot by myself both here and abroad, starting when I was 21. I do all the door locking available AND put a chair in front of the door, trying to wedge it below the handle if possible. If there's no easily movable desk-type chair, a trash can or 2 make me think I will at least wake up if someone tries to come in.

My husband thinks those precautions are stupid, so I don't do them when we travel together. He will acquiesce to a chair or trash can if the door has no extra security devices. That's to wake ME up. He hears nothing after he goes to sleep with his CPAP on.

I'm 69 now and have never had a problem, but I'm also knocking wood as I write this.

Posted by
5286 posts

Christmas day in Salzburg and the heater didn't work, so we reported it to the front desk and climbed into bed bundled up against the cold -- knock at the door and custodian walked right in, saying he was there to check the heater. Luckily nothing racier going on than watching TV ... We still laugh about it. (Gave the hotel a good review for speedy service, though.)

Posted by
104 posts

The hotel room I'm staying in Paris, has a standard door lock, and not the swinging door catch type. So I think it's a wise, cheap form of insurance - and to those that "bad mouth" the idea, that's your prerogative I suppose. Why put down someone else's safety concerns anyway?

WhateverLA

Posted by
516 posts

This sounds similar to the whole debate on whether or not to carry your passport around with you or bring any other forms of identification on your trip, or the other, ever so exciting, debate on whether or not to use a money belt. I feel that ultimately it's a cost/benefit discussion. And for everyone the cost/benefit will be different. A few bucks for this door stop and the space it takes up in luggage may pose such an inordinate burden for some that the idea is inconceivable, regardless of it’s actual utility or the peace of mind it brings. Same with carrying your passport around with you (vs. leaving it in the hotel safe) or using a money belt. Doing either one of these may cause so much physical discomfort for some that the cost far exceeds any benefit, real or perceived. Or perhaps they are so convinced of the utter uselessness of doing any of the above that it seems foolish to do it, even if it cost them nothing and posed no burden at all. To each their own.

Posted by
2225 posts

Ah, life safety-a two edged sword. If you "wedge" or "chair" your door, and there's a fire or other emergency, it will hinder your exit and/or the entrance of le pompier. I'd activate the two or three locks common on most hotel room doors, hang the do not disturb sign, and take my chances. Will you remember your wedge at 3 a.m when you need to get out quickly?

Posted by
4947 posts

There was a robbery in a hotel in which I was staying. Thief entered rooms where the door was not pulled fully shut to lock it (old style door lock). It happened during the day when the rooms were not occupied, so stopper would not have helped.

Posted by
2225 posts

A sign on the door won't stop someone, but it does communicate that the room is likely occupied-that's all.

Posted by
8293 posts

I think I was the mocking bird and as my name suggests, I am of the female persuasion. I have travelled a good deal over the past 25 years, here, there and everywhere, and perhaps foolishly, have never been fearful of "robbers" when I am IN my hotel room. That includes when travelling with my husband or with female friends. If that annoys some people, the door wedge proponents, I can only say that is my reality. I am still waiting to hear from anyone who has actually been robbed while in their hotel room.

Posted by
5817 posts

I'm in your gang Norma!
If you try hard enough you can find something to worry about in any situation but for me being robbed in my hotel room isn't one of them! Absolute worst case I would put my case and chair in front of the door so I can hear someone trying to enter but I have never even found the need to do that.

Posted by
104 posts

I agree KC, to each their own!

In any event, thank you for hearing me out!

WhateverLA (or WhateverParis for now)

Posted by
2347 posts

This summer we had driven all day into Ontario, and found a cheap motel for the night. We paid for the room, and then my husband started a conversation about changing US dollars to Canadian. She said she would give a good rate, and asked how much he had, and they discussed bank rates, etc. She insisted she would have a better rate than the banks would.

I was mad at him. When we left the office, I said, did you really just tell the clerk at a two bit hotel that we have $1000 cash on us? Then we get into the room, and discover that in addition to the door facing the street, there was one onto an odd back hallway as well. Just a thumb lock on either door, with a useless chain.

Nothing happened to us, but you can bet that we put chairs in front of the doors. And I wished I'd brought a wedge. And he knows he was stupid.