Your bags are packed, a movie is playing in the car, and you are on your way towards the vacation that your family has been looking forward too. As soon as you arrive at the hotel, a weight has been lifted off your chest, you are ready to relax. The last thing you are worried about is being a victim of assault, robbery, or even murder.
When people go on vacation, they want to leave their everyday stresses at home. Unfortunately, what many do not realize is that when you are on vacation, you are much more vulnerable to being subject to crime. While on vacation, we develop a false sense of trust with the hotel and resort’s security. For many staying at hotels or resorts, your safety relies on an electronic room key, chain lock, and a college aged hotel receptionist who is busy making sure people have enough pillows and towels. In contrast, when you are home, you can provide your own alarm system, guard dog, or flood lights; but when staying at a hotel you are forced to rely on security services provided. While most vacations are fun, unfortunately, due to a hotel’s negligent security, some vacation-goers become victims of battery, sexual assault, and some do not make it home.
In a study composed of police data from 2006 through 2010 in Miami-Dade County, there were nearly 1000 hotel-related incidents. 59% of the hotel related incidents reported involved car break-ins; 32 % related as theft; 9% were related to burglary. A majority of hotel-related incidents occurred during the hours of 6 pm and midnight. While most hotel-related incidents occurred in the parking lots, nearly 20% occurred inside the hotel room putting hotel guests in even more danger.
No one anticipates these atrocious crimes while on vacation, however it is important to be aware of the security measures provided by the hotel. While enjoying your vacation, you should pay particular attention to your surroundings, where you walk, especially if you are alone. It is important to not stray towards poorly lit areas and to try to stay with groups of people.
It is highly recommended that when staying at a hotel, you request to stay on a floor that requires key card access to keep out strangers not associated with the hotel. It is essential to protect your key and room information as much as you can by refraining from sharing your room number with anyone outside of your party. You never want your room key or room number to get into the hands of capable of assault or theft. Although you may not have much security while in your hotel room, there are measures you can take to maximize your safety. If someone knocks or tries to open the hotel room door claiming that they are hotel staff, do not immediately let them in. Call the front desk to make sure that the person at your door is, in fact, a staff member. It is not uncommon for criminals to claim that they are hotel staff, enter the room, and begin to assault, rob, or even batter you.
A hotel has the duty to take adequate security measures to protect guests if they know or have reason to know that someone may commit a crime on their property. In Florida, hotels are required to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition and warn hotel guests of the potential dangers that are out of their control. A hotel that provides adequate security measures generally has security cameras, security guards, alarms, limited key card access, multiple door locks, and ample lighting in hallways. Residing in a hotel that does that does not have adequate security increase your chances of being a victim of an egregious crime. If your hotel does not have these security measures, you should be concerned and may want to seek a more secure residence for your vacation.
The lawyers and team members at Perenich Law want you and your family to have a safe and fun vacation. No one should go on vacation and be the victim of a crime, especially when your hotel could have done something to prevent it. If you are injured by a third-party or a hotel staff while on vacation, the hotel can be held liable for failing to provide the proper security measures. You have the right to receive monetary compensation if you have been injured by a third-party when your hotel should have provided adequate security measures.
 Ho, Taiping, et al. “Hotel Crimes: An Unexplored Victimization in the Hospitality Industry.” Security Journal, vol. 30, no. 4, 2017, pp. 1097–1111., doi:10.1057/sj.2016.11.