Feel paranoid when staying at hotels that you might have an unexpected intruder?
The clip, which has over 15.6 million views at the time of writing, was posted on October 1 by TikTok user @victorias.way. The footage shows a woman demonstrating different ways to secure a hotel room door, using some items in the room such as a washcloth, a towel and a hanger.
As over-the-top as the measures taken by the woman in the latest clip may seem, safety is among the top factors considered by travelers in the U.S. when booking a hotel.
The 2023 State of the Hotel Industry report by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) found that around 45 percent of Americans said they consider “overall cleanliness and safety protocols” to be among the top three factors that influence their choice to stay in a hotel.
The report added that measures taken to ensure guest safety were found to be the type of information that 50 percent of Americans want to receive from their favorite lodging establishments.
How to Stay Safe at Hotels or Other Lodging Facilities
The U.S. Department of State notes that “safety features vary significantly throughout the world and are not universal.” The federal body advises travelers to consider the following advice when booking a place to stay.
Choosing secure lodging in a safe location and being aware of the crime rates in the area are important, especially when you’re traveling alone.
“If appropriate, consider hotels with gate access, guards and other security measures,” the department advises.
The Safest Floor to Stay On
The department says that travel-industry experts recommend trying to secure a room that is above the ground floor. It should be “ideally between the third and sixth floors, where rooms are high enough to avoid easy break-ins, but low enough to make it out of the building in case of a fire.”
Once you arrive at your lodging, locate the closest emergency exit and familiarize yourself with the emergency route. “Be aware that exiting through a window may not be an option,” the department warns.
Hotel Room Safety
Carry out the following room checks, as outlined by the department:
Scan your room, checking behind curtains, under the bed and anywhere else to ensure it is safe.Make sure that the phones work.Check that there are carbon-monoxide detectors, fire alarms and fire extinguishers.Check that all external doors, windows and bathrooms have functioning locks.Check that the curtains work for privacy.Check for any “odd-looking electronics” that might indicate there are hidden cameras. “Do not tamper with these,” the department says.Report any issues to the front desk immediately.
The department also advises carrying your room key separate from the key packet you were given, which has your room number on it, and meeting all visitors in the lobby of the venue.
“Contact the front desk if you see people behaving in a suspicious manner,” the department said.
How to Secure Your Hotel Room Door
The woman in the latest viral clip is seen standing beside the door of what appears to be a hotel room. The footage shows the woman demonstrating the different ways to secure the door from the inside. The messages across the video outline the following steps:
“Put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.” The woman is seen closing the door shut after placing the sign on the outside door handle.”Lock the door.” The footage shows the woman turning the lock.”Close the peephole.” The woman scrunches up a piece of white paper or tissue and places over the peephole.”Put the washcloth in the deadbolt loop to close the gap.” The woman is seen threading a washcloth through the slit of the deadbolt lock and pulling the cloth halfway down.”Block the door by placing ironing board against the door.” The footage shows one of the legs of the ironing board stand placed just beneath door handle, while the other leg is placed against the floor, forming a V-shape against the door.”Roll medium-size towel and put it behind the handle to lock it.” The woman is seen rolling up a towel before wedging it between the door and its handle.”Connect handle and deadbolt with hanger for added security.” The woman is seen placing the arched top corner of a hanger over the door handle. The clips on the hanger are then used to attach the hanger to the washcloth that was secured onto the deadbolt.
‘What Happens if You Have an Emergency’
The latest hotel-safety tips have sparked debate among TikTok users, with several saying these measures come with safety hazards.
User elaina highhh posted: “I feel like this is a huge fire hazard…”
Hehe wrote: “now imagine trying to get out of that in the dark in a fire in the middle of the night.”
User barbaranoland546 asked: “what happens if you have an emergency and need help..no one can get in to help you.”
Others questioned the poster’s choice to stay at a hotel that might require such measures.
Dave commented: “Paranoid? What about all the secret bed bugs waiting in the sheets.”
Kneez wrote: “Pretty sure I’m not staying in a hotel that would require me to do all that.”
Heart Martin asked: “How is a vacation relaxing after doing/worrying about this?”
Eve G posted: “Have never stayed in hotels where I felt so unsafe…”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment via TikTok and email. This video has not been independently verified.
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