Meeting planners have more than enough to do without trying to become hotel security experts. Even if they learn the right questions to ask hotel reps, they have no way to verify that the information they are given is correct and up-to-date.

That's why Wilmington, Del.-based SafePlace Corp., which for 10 years has provided safety and security accreditation to academic institutions, health-care facilities, assisted-living communities, and other commercial buildings, now includes lodging in its accreditation offerings.

“Because it offers a credible, independent accreditation, SafePlace minimizes planners' exposure to third-party claims by showing that the hotel they chose demonstrates extraordinary levels of care when it comes to security, fire, and life and health safety,” says John Fannin, SafePlace president and CEO.

So far, only three hotels — Hotel Du Pont, Wilmington, Del.; The Sagamore, Lake George, N.Y.; and Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans — have received SafePlace accreditation, but Fannin says more are coming. “We have approximately 400 accreditation kits out, and several properties are about to finish the process,” says Fannin.