How Safe Is Your Hotel Room Safe?

By: Dawson Security Group | Published 09/06/2023


Most of us believe when we travel and stay in hotels, our valuables are safe once we’ve locked them in our room’s safe. But, sadly, that’s just not true. Your hotel room safe really isn’t that safe. There are ways to open it without using the combination you set for it, making theft a real and easy possibility. Our security specialists at Dawson Security Group have learned, statistically speaking, most of the thefts involve dishonest employees, and there’s a higher rate of occurrence outside of The Woodlands, TX, and the U.S. on a whole. But it doesn’t hurt to take precautions to protect your valuables all the same, whether your hotel is stateside or not.

Ways to Open Safes Without the Combination
Most hotel room safes have safes with a password combination you set yourself, once you’ve placed your valuables inside the safe. Seemingly this would protect what you’ve just entrusted to the safe, but there are several ways thieves get around the now-locked door:

• All hotels have a backdoor or way to open all the rooms’ safes in the event a guest forgets the newly set code or loses the safe key (for older safes), illustrating that no hotel safe is 100 percent secure.
• There is an inherent factory reset administration password/combination used to override the newly set combination. Oftentimes the hotel neglects to alter this password, so many of the safes can simply be opened by inputting the admin. password. In many cases it’s as simple as all zeros or nines (depending on how many digits the keypad accepts).
• In some hotel safes, there’s a safe-brand-name plate on the front of the safe. By removing one of the screws holding it in place, a hole can be seen underneath it. Using simple tools and a paperclip-like wire, a thief can insert these into the hole and break into the safe in under two minutes.
• There are instances of hotel safes, here in the U.S., being mounted to a top shelf in the closet. Drilled into the bottom of the shelf, thus the safe, is a dime-sized hole. By inserting a sturdy metal dowel or the like, the reset button located inside the safe can be initiated, thereby allowing the thief to reset the code and gain access to the safe.
• In the instance of a smaller safe with a keypad and dial-like handle, there exist ways to simply jiggle the handle while lightly hitting the top of the safe simultaneously, and the safe will open. This trick has been performed time after time with success, showing that anyone can open the safe without any type of tools whatsoever.

What You Can Do to Keep Your Valuables Safe
With this revealing knowledge now, you may wonder what you can even do to keep your valuables safe. In response, our security professionals recommend:
• Either carrying your valuables with you if it’s necessary to bring them along on your
trip or leaving them at home if they’re not necessary
• Locking your valuables in the hotel’s office or main safe, being sure to get a receipt for items left
• Bringing along a combination suitcase lock or laptop cable lock for these items
• Doing some due diligence online to research ideas for secret hiding places amongst
your things to at least hide your money, say in your shoe’s footbed or wrapped in your toothpaste tube

If a theft from your hotel room safe does occur, there’s no way to prove what was taken or who took it, so you’ll most likely never be reimbursed. Our Dawson Security Group professionals recommend using the prevention strategies above instead of trusting your valuables to your hotel room safe. Please call us at 281-364-0500 with any questions. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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