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JUST THE FACTS

Safety First

October 29, 1995

Below are some guidelines to enhance your safety when you're choosing a hotel.

Look for lodgings that:

--Use card-key systems instead of standard metal keys.

--Have 24-hour staffing at the main entrance.

--Have adjacent, well-lighted outdoor parking. When making a reservation:

--Request a room whose door opens into a hallway instead of to the outside.

--Settle for nothing less than a self-locking door with a good deadbolt, a peephole and a security chain.

When checking in:

--Ask for a room next to the elevator. Avoid rooms next to stairwells or in remote areas of the hotel.

--Register with your last name and first initial.

--If the front desk announces your room number in front of others, ask for a new room.

During your stay:

--Do not open the door to hotel staff or repair persons before calling the front desk to verify their presence.

--Ask for maid service at the front desk rather than posting a sign on the door.

--If you order food from a takeout restaurant, meet and pay the delivery person in the hotel lobby.

Source: "Tips for Today's Woman Traveler," by Virginia Duncan.

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