We’re all familiar with the standard hotel safe. Usually, these small security boxes hide away within the closet, just large enough to offer storage for a few belongings, like cash, a camera, and maybe your passport. When we’re traveling with valuables, we assume that the hotel safe is a reliable and secure solution for protecting our property — but that might not actually be the case.
While storing your jewelry and other important items in a hotel safe might seem like an important precaution, the truth is that these security solutions are only slightly more effective than keeping your possessions tucked away in your suitcase. Here, we’ll look at the dangers of hotel safes, and what you should be doing to protect your assets when you stay at a hotel.
Breaking Into a Hotel Safe is Easier Than You Think
Most people consider room safes to be their only option when it comes to accessing peace of mind on vacation, but recent evidence suggests that breaking into these safes might be simpler than you think. A YouTube demonstration posted by Jim Stickley, a cybersecurity specialist, showed that simple items like paperclips and basic tools can be enough to outsmart a hotel safe.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of problems with the security of hotel safes even if your thief isn’t creative with household objects. Unlike residential safes, hotels use a master code for their safes which can be as simple as something like “123456” or “000000,” making it easy for anyone to break in. Even if the master code isn’t quite that obvious, hotel employees can know how to get into your safe without any need for your personalized code.
If that wasn’t frightening enough, your hotel room itself isn’t quite as secure as it seems. Most people assume that no one but themselves and the cleaning crew can enter their room. However, anyone can walk into a room and claim it’s theirs when the cleaning team have opened the door. That means a perfect stranger could have complete access to your belongings.
Theft Isn’t The Only Concern
It’s not just the threat of theft that presents a problem with hotel safes, either. Think back to the last time you went on vacation. The chances are that you spent the last hour or so before your checkout time in a mad panic, stuffing clothes into a suitcase and trying to find room for all the souvenirs you bought in your luggage.
At the end of a vacation, most of us are more concerned about getting to our flight on time than with double-checking the room to make sure we’ve got everything. Unfortunately, even if you do glance around the room before leaving, it’s easy to forget the belongings hidden away behind a closet door in the safe.
If you forget the possessions in your safe, you can always call the reception when you get home and ask them to send the items out to you. However, new visitors could have taken over your room — and potentially your precious belongings. Even if you are fortunate enough to retrieve your belongings, it could mean paying hundreds of dollars in postage.
What to Remember About the Hotel Safe
From hotel staff who can access your safe whenever they like to countless opportunities for thieves to grab your belongings, and even basic forgetfulness, the hotel safe is brimming with risk. Remember:
- Hotel safes are only designed to offer a minimum level of security
- These safes are only one step above hiding your belongings in your luggage
- Most hotel safes aren’t secured to the wall
- Hotel safes have limited liability coverage
Ultimately, experts advise that you keep your valuable items at home when you’re traveling, if that’s an option. For the items that you can’t help but bring with you, it’s often best to ask at the front desk to find out whether you can leave those belongings in the hotel’s personal safe. These security solutions are often far more effective than the ones you have in your room.
Western Safe sells safes for all purposes, from gun safes to fire safes for all your most important documents. Browse our inventory today.