General Safety Tips

Personal safety is the traveler’s responsibility. The following list of safety tips is non-exclusive.

Policy

Air Travel

  • Always carry personal identification on your person not in your luggage, briefcase, etc.
  • Plan to arrive at the airport at least two hour before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. To avoid having to stand in line, ask the travel agent to include boarding passes with your ticket whenever possible.
  • Do not leave luggage unattended or with someone you do not know.
  • Never agree to carry anything on board or in your luggage for someone else.
  • Put your name and company address inside and on your luggage. For added security, use tags that conceal your name and address.
  • Remove all old destination tags to avoid misdirection by baggage handlers.
  • Carry all medication, important business papers, some toiletries, and a change of clothing in carry-on luggage in case the checked luggage is misplaced.

Upon Arrival at your Destination

  • Leave the airport as soon as possible after deplaning.
  • Beware of people claiming to be cab drivers in unmarked vehicles. Use licensed taxi or limousine services only.
  • If renting a vehicle, get maps in advance or from the rental vehicle counter and clearly write out the directions from the airport to the hotel. Stop to ask for directions only in well-lit public areas. Keep the phone number of your destination with you.
  • If unfamiliar with the local language, carry a card or matchbook with the hotel's name and address. This can be shown to a cab driver or police officer should you become lost.
  • Be sure to carry your credit card company's telephone number in case the card is lost or stolen. Always report losses immediately.

Hotel Safety Tips

  • Large, downtown hotels often offer enough amenities (restaurants, room service, entertainment, and workout facilities) that travelers will not have to leave the premises to get the services they require.
  • Request a room near the elevator, where there is more frequent foot traffic.
  • Check out the security features of a hotel before checking in. Does it have well-lit hallways, 24-hour front-desk service, visible security personnel and guest rooms with double-lock doors and peepholes? Hotels also should have security cameras, a card key without a room number and entrances that are locked at night.
  • Don't hesitate to ask questions about security.
  • In developing countries, try to reserve rooms on the third through the sixth floor of the hotel. Disturbances and burglaries are most likely to affect ground and second story levels. In some countries, fire rescue equipment does not reach above the sixth floor.
  • Do not leave a sign on the hotel room door for maid service as it announces an empty room for would-be thieves.

Hotel Fire Safety Tips

While major hotels are equipped with smoke alarms, sprinkler systems and emergency evacuation instructions, fire safety awareness will increase a traveler's chance of survival in the unlikely event of a hotel fire.

When Staying at a Hotel
  • Check fire exits. Find the two nearest exits to your room and count the doorways so you can feel your way in the dark and smoke.
  • Place your key on the nightstand and your shoes by the bed so you can find them easily.
In Case of Fire or Smoke
  • Put on your shoes, grab your room key, and head for the door. If there's any smoke in your room, get on your hands and knees and crawl. The fresh air you need to survive is near the floor.
  • Feel the door and the knob. If they are cool, open the door and check the hall. If they are hot, do not open the door. Stay in your room and fight the fire.
  • If the hallway is clear, close the door behind you and walk to the nearest exit. Never take an elevator in case of fire! Keep your room key with you in case the hallway becomes blocked and you need to return to your room.
  • If the hall has smoke in it, close the door and crawl to the nearest exit. Stay against the wall so that you can count the doorways.
  • When walking down the stairwell, hold the handrail to keep your balance.
If You Must Stay in Your Room to Fight the Fire
  • Open your window to vent smoke. If your window doesn't open, do not break it unless absolutely necessary. You may have to close it later if smoke is outside. Never jump from the third floor or above. Chances are good that you won't survive the fall.
  • Call the desk to tell them you're in your room. Hang a sheet out the window to signal firemen.
  • Fill the tub with water and turn on the bathroom vent fan.
  • Wet some sheets or towels and stuff cracks of your door to keep out smoke. Use your ice bucket to bail water on the door. If the walls are hot, bail water on them. Keep everything wet.
  • If there is a fire outside, get everything combustible away from the window.
  • A wet towel tied around your nose and mouth is an effective filter if you fold it in a triangle and put the bottom corner in your mouth.
  • Don't panic! Keep fighting the fire until rescue arrives.

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