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Death in hotel

Picture Source:sholden.typepad.com > Steve's Shots

Death can occur in any hotel and if not properly managed can cost the hotel a lot of money, destroy the image of the hotel as well as tamper on the loyalty of your guests. It is not bizarre for a death to occur in a public place with many people lodging there and with a certain level of privacy. It can happen in any hotel, local or international or whether it a five star hotel or a bed and breakfast.


In any case, prevention is better so it is important that the hotel management is proactive by setting aside tasks to ensure that the hotel is not held liable for any death in the hotel. Simple preventive measures may include avoiding food poisoning, slips and trips on floors, anti-slips in baths, being observant, visitors following the right procedure and not going up to rooms without the guests knowledge, violence, saying out guest names and room numbers to strangers, having CCTV cameras on guest room floors and not taking DND rooms for granted. It can also include performing your health and hazard inspections and making sure they are signed for and documented. Management should also ensure that regular audits are carried out. Employees also have to be very observant and report and strange cases like seeing a weapon in the room or naked wires or use of drugs etc. Death could be suicide, murder or other unknown causes that require investigation.

Below are steps to take in the case of death in the hotel. The employee must


  • not touch anything in the room but report to the supervisor or manager immediately
  • Inform the security manager and the general manager must be informed
  • The police are then informed by the GM and only the GM, security manager  or an assigned  senior manager should work with the police
  • For cause of death, it is advisable to have  a medical examiner contribute in the investigation by also visiting the crime scene
  • The body should be moved out through the back doors using staff elevators
  • The room should be put out of service until investigations are complete and released by the police
  • Until investigations are complete, no staff must be allowed into the room without the police for any reason
  • If the press is involved then it is imperative to have a press conference or release a statement.
  • The GM or a senior manager must work closely with the police and provide all the support they need because the image of the hotel could also be at stake
  • Police should inform next of kin of the deceased
  • Hotel staff are not allowed to share the news of the death with the press. There should be only one spokesperson and not all the hotel employees
  • Before the room is released back to inventory, it must be deep cleaned and possibly renovated depending on how the guest died

It could be a bit overwhelming to have a case like this in the hotel but if managed professionally, it is seem like one of our daily operations. Celebrities like Whitney Houston and Coco Chanel were found dead in their luxury hotel rooms and business continued as usual.

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