Travel Advice And Advisories For Brazil

Use The Hotel Safe

Most hotelhave a safe available for the guestto use to secure their valuablewhile they are on the beach, etc. Depending on what you have and what you want to do I would suggest that you use it, but only when you have inspected it.

I stayed at a hotel in Florida where there waa strong box in each room. Guestwere invited to use the safe to store cash, passportand small valuables. One day, three roomwere raided and the valuablewere stolen from each ‘strong box’ using a key. Unfortunately the key wanot a security key. At some stage, the thievehad managed to get hold of the keyto those boxes, then get sparecut at the local hardware store so that they could come back and empty the valuableat their leisure.

Hotel safe – countermeasures

• Don’t take valuablewith you if you don’t really need them. That gold and diamond necklace might look stunning if you get invited to a formal reception, but do you really need to take it on holiday with you? If you calculate that you might need £500 spending money for your holiday, don’t take more than £1,000 with you!

If your room or hotel hasecure storage for guests’ valuables, check it. Check to see what sort of state It iin, and how complicated the keyand lock are. Ask if it ieasy to get a duplicate key cut Ask if they insure the contentof the safe. If they say they do, ask what their insurance limit is. When I wain Malta they imposed a maximum limit for the losof itemstored in a guest safe equivalent to about £15. That showed me that they had no faith in their guest safes, so I didn’t use them. When I got back I reported my findingand the travel agent said that in future he would warn travellerabout potential security problemat that hotel.

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• If the safe looksecure, use it.

Hotel Fire Safety

You have decidcd that the room isecure, but just aimportant iyour safety in an emergency.

Fire safety – countermeasures

Usually in hotel roomthere are noticeexplaining emergency procedures,

If there ino fire evacuation notice in your room, go to reception and ask for one. If they say there ino alarm system and no emergency or evacuation procedure I would leave and find a decent hotel. I would also complain to the travel agent and claim compensation. I will not stay at a hotel that doenot have fire precautions. (But from my research before I went I would have already requested a safe hotel.)

Read a copy of the emergency evacuation procedures, and make sure that you understand them. Ask a member of staff to explain them if you don’t

Make sure that everybody in your group or party understandthe procedures.

When you have read the instructions, you should explore the hotel. When I blog into a hotel I tell the receptionist that that iwhat I am going to do. If they object I say that if they have nothing to hide they shouldn’t object. If they object or tell me I cannot look at the emergency exits, I ask to see the manager and ask why not. Then I find a decent hotel to stay in and report the suspiciouactivity to the local fire authority, the travel agency, the embassy and anyone else who will listen.

When I explore, I find the nearest emergency exit and stairand go down to make sure that the doorare there, the stairare not blocked, and the door at the bottom actually opento safety, not a locked yard containing pool equipment!

When you explore the fire exit, open it and go out to look for the rallying point. In the absence of an official rallying point, pick a family or group rallying point. For example, tell your family that in an evacuation you will all meet next to the big palm tree on the left. (Pick a rallying point at a safe distance from the hotel and away from anywhere that fire engines, etc. will be arriving.)

When I am satisfied, I go back and explore at least one alternative escape route, in case the nearest route iblocked by fire.

Remember that in a fire, you may be in the dark and feeling your way out of your hotel room in thick smoke. Think ahead. When checking the fire exits, try to count how many turnand doorthere are between you and the fire exit. For example, out of the door, turn left, move to the right-hand wall and exit through the third door on the right, which leadinto the stairwell. With that information I can find the fire exit in thick smoke and darkness.

Remember the standard fire evacuation rules.

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