This section offers additional resources and advice on lodging-related safety topics.   

Combat the Flu 

Prevent and manage a flu outbreak. 

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking - modern day slavery - is not just a problem in developing nations; estimates show that thousands of men, women, and children are trafficked in the United States each year primarily for sexual or labor exploitation.  Click here for more information and resources on identifying and combating this issue.

Carbon Monoxide

The hotel industry closely monitors the issue of carbon monoxide and continually works to ensure the safety of guests and employees.  Trace amounts of it occur naturally and are part of the atmosphere.  Additionally, it has multiple industrial uses.  Various fuel-fired appliances and equipment may produce carbon monoxide.  Proper installation and maintenance of fuel-fired equipment including adhering to the manufacturer’s product warnings are the best measures to ensure no adverse CO exposure occurs. As with fire detectors, there is no federal mandate or regulations; states vary from no regulations to those unique to states to International Fire Code 2012 language. Approximately 98 percent of all carbon monoxide-related fatalities occur in homes, campers, and tents. Click here for FAQs.

Standardized Hotel Assessment Tool 

The AH&LA Safety/Security Committee, along with the Overseas Security Advisory Council and its Hotel Working Security Group, have created a uniform standardized hotel assessment tool that corporate travel and security departments can use to meet their duty of care obligations. The document enables tour operators and meeting planners, airlines, and third-party service providers to use a uniform tool for conducting conduct security, safety, and health surveys and assessments of hotels. Through its use, hotels will be able to respond to these requests in a timely, accurate, and customer-friendly manner. The form is available for download here.  

General Guidance for Protecting Your Property 

Every property is different and the location of every property is unique. As a result, security measures must be tailored to the individual property and its location. Some things you might wish to consider when addressing security at your hotel are: 

  • Depending on the size and business volume of the hotel, securing the perimeter doors during certain hours.
  • Not allowing unauthorized vehicles to park near the building, (i.e., taxi cabs, limousines, buses).
  • If you have front-door valet parking, consideration of suspending this practice during the "code orange" and "code red" statuses.
  • If possible and depending upon factors such as the presence of celebrities or politicians,what functions are taking place and how full the hotel is, hiring extra security or off-duty law enforcement to provide additional security as well as reassurance to guests. 
  • Download our Guest Safety Tips and Child Safety Tips and post them in guest rooms, distribute upon check in, or keep them on hand when needed.
  • Download the DHS Private Sector Resources Catalog to access resources to help keep our country secure.  Targeted specifically towards the private sector, this document collects the training, publications, guidance, alerts, newsletters, programs, and services available to the private sector across the department. 

Though not empowered to set standards, AH&LA encourages the industry to regularly review and re-evaluate their policies and procedures, including those related to safety.

Reminder on New Crib Regulation Compliance 

On December 28, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published the final rules regarding new mandatory standards for baby cribs as outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The effective date of compliance for places of public accommodation that offer cribs, such as hotels and motels, was December 28, 2012. The CPSC has now begun compliance inspections, and they will continue throughout 2014.  

AH&LA encourages each property to review these new regulations and ensure that cribs offered for consumer use are fully compliant. The CPSC recommends that hotels and motels offering cribs to consumers discard older, non-compliant cribs. As of June 28, 2011, all cribs made, sold, leased, or resold are required to meet new crib standards. After that date, it is illegal to sell, resell, or lease a crib that does meet these compliance standards. CPSC recommends disassembling the crib before discarding it. 

The CPSC has a crib information center with more details on the new standards and safe sleep practices for infants. To view the final rule, click here. 

For questions, please contact AH&LA Manager of Governmental Affairs Kaitlyn Boecker at (202) 289-3122. 

New OSHA Labeling System for Hazardous Chemicals 

Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today.  To simplify the communication of hazardous information in the workplace, OSHA is adopting a new hazardous communication labeling system called the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).  The new system is designed to provide a more clear understanding about the information on labels and material data safety sheets.  OSHA has mandated that all incumbent associates who have previously received the former hazard communication training must now also receive the new GHS training by December 1, 2013.  OSHA also requires that all newly-hired associates are trained in both the former hazard communication training and the new GHS training through 2015, after which only the GHS training will be required.  Hazard communication information and training resources are available at www.OSHA.gov.  

Holiday Fire Safety 

Do you know that most states and municipalities have regulations regarding decorations? This is a good time for hoteliers to review their local and state fire codes.  

Generally, holiday decorations should be made from flame resistant, flame retardant, or non-combustible materials.  If you are using natural materials such as evergreens and leaves, it is imperative that you check with the local fire authorities regarding the proper flame retardant protocol. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a “Holiday Decoration Safety Tips” pamphlet to view on their Website.  This pamphlet addresses trees, lights, candles, paper, and fake snow. 

While all holiday decorations must be securely fastened, it is important to remember that the placement of any decorations must not conceal, even partially, any exits, exit lights, or fire extinguisher locations.  

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a Hotel Fire Safety Checklist to assess property readiness in case of a fire. They also offer fire safety tips for hotel guests. 

The U.S. Fire Administration and the Department of Homeland Security maintain a list of “fire-safe” hotels approved for government travelers. Properties must register to be placed on the Hotel-Motel National Master List. The state’s fire marshal or designee approves or denies a property’s request to be listed.