I recently added a sub section on safety and security to my book under the Site Selection chapter with questions to ask/things to consider when selecting a site/destination for your next meeting or event. Here is a list of what I've come up with so far. I welcome any additional questions or comments you might have that I could incorporate in the next revision.
What is the general reputation of the city/community? Is it economically sound? Is it on the upturn or the downturn? Experiencing a renaissance?
Is it a thriving/active community, full of energy and good vibes, places to go, things to do or see, or does it close up by 6pm?
Is it a walkable city? Does the foot traffic in the area change from day to night time? Is it safe to be out and about at night? Do you feel safe when you are out and about?
What else is going on in the city that may be cause for concern for your guests over your meeting dates?
What is the relationship between the hotel and the local police? Any recent/ongoing crime issues in the area? (Talk to the police as well as the hotel staff about this issue.)
Any pending road construction in and around area that might hamper access to taxi, bus, or other transportation services?
Overall general condition of the hotel and the surrounding area. Is the hotel a stand-alone structure or part of a larger complex? If a stand-alone structure, how is access to building monitored? If part of a larger complex (such as a major shopping complex), how is access to hotel monitored?
Is the area around the venue well lit? Is it patrolled by security on a regular basis?
Is there a parking ramp dedicated solely to the hotel or is it shared with other tenants? How is access monitored? Is it patrolled by security on a regular basis?
Any ongoing, current or pending union disputes?
Will you have access to the meeting rooms on a 24-hour basis? If yes, how/when are the doors locked, who has responsibility for locking the rooms, and who has access to the room keys? If not, what needs to be removed and where/who is responsible for moving and securing that which is moved? As a general rule and regardless of whether or not you have 24-access to meetings rooms, you should still remove any and all paperwork, notes, scripts, and computers at the end of each day.
Are security personnel contractors or employees? Are they available 24/7?
Are security personnel CPR and AED trained? Where are AEDs located?
Where are the emergency exits, fire alarms and extinguishers located?
What is the protocol for contacting security in case of medical or other emergencies?
What is the venue’s protocol for notifying and/or evacuating guests in case of a fire or other type of emergency?
Do the meeting rooms have house phones? What is the protocol for using, where do the calls go, who responds?
Does the venue have a physician on site or on call? If yes, are they available 24/7?
Where is the closest medical facility/hospital?