The housekeeping department has access to many restricted areas at the hotel. For their own safety and the safety of guests, it is important that all staff understand the appropriate policies and procedures for all keys used in the department. The items listed below are basic procedures that take place at almost every hotel.

  • When staff start work each day they should be assigned a key with a number or code on it. They should always sign their name, key number and the time they checked-out the key on a key sign out sheet. At the end of their shift all keys should be returned to the manager and employees need to sign their name and time stating what time the key was returned. Keys should never be taken home. Keys should never be labeled with the location or description of the area they open. If the keys are dropped and found by guests, then guests have access to restricted areas. 
  • While employees are working through out the hotel all keys should be kept in their uniform pocket and or attached to their uniform. Having keys attached to the uniform is the best way to ensure the keys are not left in the open and keys are not lost. Keys should never be left on maid’s carts or work carts. 
  • If keys are left in guest rooms after the guests have departed, the room attendant should put the keys in their uniform pocket. During their lunch break all keys should be returned to the supervisor or front desk. This is extremely important since some keys may be programmed for a longer period of time then the guests decided to stay, so they will still work. If these keys are left on maids cart any one could access a guestroom with out anyone knowing. 
  • What to do if a guest states they are locked out of their room? Even if a person claims to be a guest and is walking around the hallways trying to get into a room you should never let them into any restricted areas especially guest rooms. Tell them that for their safety they need to go to the front office to verify their identification before receiving another guest room key. This may make the guest irritable and frustrated so you must apologize for the inconvenience and reinforce that they must go to the front office for their safety. 
  • What to do if a person approaches the room you are cleaning and says it is their room? You must not allow the person to enter the room. You do not know if they really are the guest occupying that room. You must ask the guest for their key and open the door using their key. If the key works then they may be allowed to enter the room. 
  • What to do if a person, such as visitor, approaches you in the hallway and needs to enter a guest room? You should never ever let people into any restricted areas of the hotel. You must tell the person that they need to go to the front office and be announced as a visitor.

Other Key procedures for Housekeeping Management:

  • All keys should be labeled with a code not the actual location or space the key opens. 
  • Key rings should have only the minimum keys required for that employee to use. For example a room attendant’s key ring should only have a guest room key, laundry chute key and, storage room key. They do not need access to maintenance closets or other areas of the hotel that are not used to perform their job. Housekeeping management will need to define what keys should be assigned to each key ring. 
  • All keys should be on a lanyard or key extender ring. These two options allow the keys to be on the employee’s person and are more likely not left on maid’s carts or in rooms. It is also helpful especially for room attendants that the uniforms have pockets to keep keys on their person.
  • Keys should never leave the property. All keys should be inventoried and locked in a secure place at the end of each day. It is important that a manager or supervisor inventory the locked box for all of the keys in your department. To do this a Key Audit sheet must be created which is a list of all of the keys used in the department and a date column so you have a record that the keys were inventoried each day. The list should be typed. If any of the keys are missing they must be found immediately or locks must be re-keyed or changed completely.
  • A new key sign out sheet should be used daily. The sign out sheets should be filed by date for one month and kept in an immediate area such as the housekeeping office. After one month the key sign out sheets should be removed and stored with other hotel records for that month.


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