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DoDEA OSS: Safety and Security Tips: Using Hotels

Using Hotels
  • Use hotels that are reputable. Check with travel agencies or people familiar with the area.
  • Try to obtain a room on the 2nd through 5th floor. Ground floor rooms are more susceptible to break-ins. Higher floors may prevent access by rescue equipment like fire truck ladders.
  • Although not always so, presume all hotel rooms are monitored. Do not discuss classified, sensitive, or proprietary information.
  • Avoid the use of hotel paging.
  • Keep your passports and room key with you at all times.
  • Exercise care when inviting strangers to your room or disclosing the number and location of your room. Meet visitors in the lobby or other public area.
  • Be wary of pickpockets, prostitutes, or other criminal elements that may loiter in lobbies, restrooms, restaurants, bars, pools, or public phone booth areas.
  • Alternate use of elevators and stairs. If others are watching and you don‰t feel "comfortable", consider taking elevators to floors below or above yours and walk up or down.
  • Note emergency exits, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
  • Always use door peepholes, and security chains when answering your door. Lock doors and windows when you leave the room.
  • At night, keep curtains closed. Consider setting up an "improvised" burglar alarm that will waken you if someone is trying to gain access to your room.
  • Try to sleep away from exterior walls and windows.
  • Keep your room neat and orderly. By doing so, it will be easier to notice if someone has been in your room.
  • Avoid leaving valuables in room. Use the hotel safe.
  • When leaving your room, turn out the lights first - then open door and check hallway before exiting.
  • Avoid hanging signs on doors requesting maid service. This telegraphs that your room is not occupied.
  • Mail letters and postcards yourself, don't use the hotel desk.
  • Beware of unexpected mail, parcels or solicitors.

Sources for Additional Information

The U.S. Department of State operates a 24 hour per day information center. Travel advisories for countries and areas can be obtained from the center, and travelers can report emergencies involving U.S. citizens. Information concerning marriages overseas, citizenship questions, and judicial services can also be obtained. The telephone number is (202) 647-5225.

Most U.S. military transportation offices maintain travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State through Department of Defense channels.

Pamphlets and publications can provide valuable information concerning general security issues and crime prevention tips; but they should not be used as a sole source of such information. The most current and specific information can and should be obtained from Law Enforcement Officials, Security Officers, and/or U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officers in the area in which you live or are planning to travel.

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