Suicide Prevention Measures for Hotels

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: June 13, 2019

From modest rooms to the most luxurious suites, suicide can happen at any time. A secluded place such as a hotel room, where there is no one around to intervene, is unfortunately a place that attracts an outsized share of suicide attempts.

Dealing with the aftermath of people committing suicide can become a complicated and emotional affair. Clearly, crime scene cleanup is not a job for the housekeeping staff. It’s time-consuming and costly when there are blood-borne pathogens, which is why the professional crime-scene cleaners at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba are called in.

Employees should back out of the room and call for security if they find a body. It could be suicide, homicide, a natural death, or someone just unconscious.

Two signs for detecting a possible suicide attempt:

1. Detecting problematic guests- someone who arrives without a reservation, without luggage, and pays in cash; that’s a clear red flag of someone who might have an immediate agenda—it could be suicide.

2. Watch for guests displaying signs of agitation or extreme nervousness. If something seems strange with how guests interact, try to communicate with them and draw out more information—something important might surface.

It would be good practice for hotels to make sure windows only open four inches, wide enough to allow for fresh air but not wide enough for someone to jump out. Block access to rooftops, machinery rooms, and storage areas of chemicals or sharps items of any type.

Overall awareness is the key to prevention. Hotel staff should be able to recognize signs of distress or problems and report them to management.

We are a certified crime scene cleanup company in Chicago.

Diana Rodriguez, CEO of ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, headquartered in Chicago, says her company performs suicide cleanups at hotel chains very frequently across the city. “We have seen every kind of hotel suicide such as knives, drugs, drowning, hanging, firearms and swallowing blades.”

“Most large hotel chains have protocols in place for handling suicides however we encourage everyone to have a protocol in place.”

A possible hotel suicide protocol might include:

• Record the event
• Call the police & the coroner
• Have the body removed
• Contract a certified professional for cleanup
• Inventory the person’s personal effects and turn them over to police.

ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba services hotels across the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, we are a certified professional crime-scene cleaning company. The ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba team approach trauma cleanup with more than just professionalism. Our technicians handle sensitive questions with assurance and skill, and we approach each job with respect and integrity.