Home Air Quality Sensor Technology Makes Catching, Documenting Guestroom Smoking Easy

Sensor Technology Makes Catching, Documenting Guestroom Smoking Easy

Glenn Hasek

Growing up, it was common for my father to have a couple of his buddies over for a card game. Sometimes I would join them. My father and his friends would all be smoking like chimneys. When my father joined the air force during World War II, the military gave enlisted men cigarettes for free. (Today I wonder, sarcastically of course, whose side the military was on.) Eventually, our ceiling turned quite dark from the toxins. Maybe you had a similar experience as a child.

Today, when I travel, I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke in hotels. My wife is even more sensitive and can smell a smoked-in room the exact moment we enter. Numerous times we have had to switch rooms.

As a hotel owner or operator, I know cigarette, marijuana and vape smoke is your enemy. Once a guest lights up, the headache for you and your staff begins. There is the awkwardness of confronting the guest about the violation, the fine itself, proving it happened, possibly dealing with a dispute of the charge, the actual cleaning of the room, and possibly even the replacement of all soft goods in the room. Where cigarettes are smoked, the residue from third-hand smoke cannot be washed or ozone machined away. Lingering smoke and residue may even negatively impact the health of your staff. This is just a partial list of the problems caused by smoking in a guestroom.

With 24 states having approved the recreational use of marijuana and 38 states having approved medical marijuana, your property is at a greater risk than ever before.

Sensor Systems to Choose From

Fortunately, at least two companies have developed sensor systems that detect smoking the moment it happens—Alerteer and FreshAir Sensor LLC. The violation is time stamped and recorded and an alert is sent to you immediately—time enough to act before too much damage occurs. Be sure to read my article.

In the case of Alerteer, a detector is typically placed on the ceiling close to the smoke detector. Alerteer also offers a plug-in option that can be placed behind the TV. Alerteer detects cigarettes, marijuana and vape smoke. Once smoke is detected, a message is sent to the Alerteer app, by e-mail, text, or by telephone indicating the smoking activity, the type of violation, date, the time, and room number. Alerteer’s Smart Sensor operates off the local WiFi. Unique to the Smart Sensor system is its ability to also monitor and report carbon monoxide levels in hotel guestrooms, adding a level of safety in an industry that occasionally sees injuries and fatalities from carbon monoxide exposure.

Jack O’Toole, Founder of FreshAir Sensor LLC, says his company takes a different approach to the technology behind cigarette and marijuana smoke detection. “FreshAir is the only company with patented sensors that specifically detect tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke,” O’Toole says. “Our PolySens technology immediately detects specific molecules in tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke.” FreshAir Sensor devices, which also use the hotel WiFi, can either be plugged into a wall or ceiling or hard-wired.

Hoteliers can either purchase Alerteer’s Smart Sensor system outright, purchase a monthly subscription, or purchase a two-year subscription. To ensure that smoking violations are addressed immediately, Mehta recommends incentivizing front desk and housekeeping associates. Hoteliers interested in the FreshAir Smoking Detection System can either get it monthly with no upfront cost or they can buy a device with five years of monitoring.

When considering a sensor system be sure to ask about awareness materials—tent cards, for example—that can be used to notify guests of the technology in their rooms. I suspect most of your guests (and associates) will love you for having such a system in place. Everyone will certainly breathe easier.

Green Lodging News Welcomes bläanks to Green Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News welcomes bläanks to its Green Product & Service Directory in the “Pillows & Throws” category. bläanks is a women-owned business that specializes in machine washable contract grade textured throws and pillows for the hospitality and A+D communities. Sustainably knitted in the USA with zero waste, bläanks’s signature recycled cotton blend is fade-resistant for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Their durable pillows and throws pass NFPA 260 and Wyzenbeek 50,000 double rubs testing. In addition, bläanks has also earned the Leader ranking for Mindclick’s MSAP. Recent clients include Kimpton Hotels, Hyatt, and SH Resorts.

“bläanks takes great pride in our commitment to participating in a more sustainable industry with mindful manufacturing,” says Judy Pokonosky, VP of Design for bläanks.

Learn more about their commitment here. You may also e-mail judy@blaanks.com.

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Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers, and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

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Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $135 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

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