Hotel Panic Buttons: AHLA 5-Star Promise

Hotel Panic Buttons and The AHLA’s 5-Star Promise

hotel panic buttons

The Hospitality Industry is primarily comprised of women, who made up nearly 9 million of its employees in 2019.  A survey discovered that close to 60% of women working within the Industry were victims of sexual harassment or assault while at work.  The study also found that 96% of those who worked in guestrooms said they would feel safer at work if they were equipped with panic buttons.  A hospitality survey conducted in the UK found that 86% of responders had experienced one or more incidences of sexual harassment while at work.  The safety of those in the hospitality industry is of concern, as a 2016 report found that 9 out of 10 hospitality workers suffered some type of abuse during their dealings with guests.

What is Staff Alert / Panic Buttons

Staff Alert are employee safety devices that are more commonly known as hotel panic buttons, that can be carried by employees and dispatches emergency alerts that provide exact locations, allowing responders to reach employees within minutes.  Panic buttons can be worn around the neck, they can be attached to belts or anywhere on the employee’s clothing that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.

AHLA 5-Star Promise

In September 2018, The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and major hotel brands announced the 5-Star promise.  Participating members pledged to provide hotel employees with safety devices, to provide training and to update their policies in order to increase the safety of their workers.  During the initial announcement, the following hotel brands made their commitment: AccorHotels, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, G6 Hospitality, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Las Vegas Sands Corp, Loews Hotels & Co, Marriott International, Montage International, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, Radisson Hotel Group, Red Lion Hotels Corporation, Red Roof, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

To date, almost 60 member companies representing 20,000 hotel properties have committed to prioritizing employee safety and equipping employees with safety devices.  And so far over 5,000 hotels have implemented safety devices in the United States, with the goal of nationwide implementation by 2020.  As a result, an estimated 1.2 million employees will be protected while at work.  However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic some hotels need additional time to implement employee safety devices.  Many hotels have been struggling because of low occupancy levels due to reduced travel and some deadlines have been extended to 2022.

There are 5 Main Components to the 5-Star Promise:

  • Build on our industry’s longstanding commitment to hospitality and a People Culture by continuing to provide industry-wide training and materials on safety and security and retain expert guidance to work with the industry on diversity and safety matters.
  • Ensure mandatory anti-sexual harassment policies are in place in multiple languages.
  •  Provide ongoing training and education for employees on identifying and reporting sexual harassment.
  • Provide U.S. hotel employees with employee safety devices to help them feel safe on the job.
  • Broaden vital partnerships with wide-ranging national organizations that target sexual violence and assault and trafficking and promote workplace safety.

The AHLA Improvements on Hotel Safety and Security Initiatives

  • The hotel industry has Increased training around sexual assault, harassment and human trafficking prevention.
  • AHLA released a Device Buyer’s Guide created in partnership with Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) to help connect hospitality companies with ESD providers and facilitate the adoption process.
  •  AHLA established a program for member companies to offer discounts with the following employee safety device (ESD) providers: AT&T, Enseo, PwC, React Mobile, RF Technologies, ROAR for Good, and TraknProtect.

The AHLA Advancement of Staff and Guest Safety

  • No Room for Trafficking campaign, uniting the industry around one comprehensive approach with the goal of training 100 percent of employees.
  •  Increasing training and partnerships with sexual assault and human trafficking prevention partners.
  • Proactively implementing employee safety devices to help ensure employees feel safe.
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign to reaffirm the hotel industry’s commitment to ending sexual violence.
  • Bringing together lodging executives and security experts at AHLA’s annual Safety Summit.
  • Launching a nationwide tour of regional human trafficking prevention training events in partnership with elected officials and prevention partners.
  • Donating $55,000 to partner organizations, ECPAT-USA and Polaris, which are both anti-trafficking organizations and the DC Rape Crisis Center to help fund human trafficking prevention efforts and sexual assault awareness programs.

Hotel Panic Button Laws and Ordinances Have been Established

hotel panic button 3

In addition to the AHLA’s 5-star promise, new hotel panic button laws and ordinances have been put in place that require hotels to provide employees with safety devices /panic buttons.  Different states have different requirements and timeframes for hotels to become compliant.  Deadlines are fast approaching for hotels in the states and cities where panic button laws have become effective or are in the process of being passed.

Vendor Spotlight: RelayPro

Hotel panic buttons are a new requirement for hotels, but they don’t have to be a new expense. RelayPro was recently approved by Marriott, IHG and Choice hotels and has been installed in nearly 2,000 properties.  RelayPro is BOTH a 4G/Wi-Fi walkie talkie and a cutting-edge panic button with VOICE communication.