Hotel security cameras can capture everything from routine operations to unlawful incidents. But how long do hotels actually keep all of this recorded footage before deleting it? The answer depends on a hotel’s policies, local laws, and storage capabilities.

In short, most hotels retain CCTV footage for 30 to 45 days on average before deleting. However, video related to incidents may be kept longer for liability purposes. Understanding hotel video retention and access policies can inform guests and answer common questions around security camera footage.

Typical Retention Periods for Routine Footage

When it comes to security camera footage, hotels have a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their guests and staff. One important aspect of this is determining how long they should retain the footage captured by their surveillance cameras.

While each hotel may have its own policy, there are some typical retention periods that many establishments adhere to.

30 Days Covers Most Guest or Liability Needs

For most hotels, a retention period of 30 days is sufficient to meet their guest and liability needs. This means that the footage is stored for a month before it is automatically deleted or overwritten.

This timeframe allows hotels to address any guest complaints or incidents that may have occurred during their stay. It also provides a reasonable length of time for liability purposes, allowing hotel management to review footage in case of any accidents or disputes.

45 Days Accounts for Longer Stays

Some hotels, especially those that cater to long-term guests or have extended-stay options, may choose to retain footage for a longer period of time. A retention period of 45 days offers additional security and peace of mind for both the guests and the hotel.

This longer timeframe accounts for guests who may be staying for several weeks or even months, ensuring that any incidents or issues can be properly investigated and addressed.

Storage Costs Limit Saving More Footage

While it would be ideal to retain footage for an indefinite period, storage costs can be a limiting factor for hotels. The amount of data generated by security cameras can be substantial, especially for larger establishments.

Storing footage for longer periods would require significant resources and increase expenses. Therefore, hotels need to strike a balance between retaining footage for an appropriate length of time and managing storage costs effectively.

How Long Incident Footage is Kept

Hotels play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of their guests. One aspect of this responsibility is the use of security cameras to monitor and record activities in and around the premises. But how long do hotels actually keep these recordings? Let’s take a closer look.

Video of Crimes Saved for Investigations

When an incident occurs on hotel property, such as theft, vandalism, or assault, the recorded footage can be invaluable for investigations. Hotels typically retain this footage for a specific period of time to allow sufficient time for law enforcement agencies to review and gather evidence.

The exact duration can vary depending on local regulations and hotel policies, but it is common for hotels to keep incident footage for a minimum of 30 days.

It’s important to note that in some cases, hotel security footage has played a crucial role in solving crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice. By preserving incident footage, hotels not only protect their guests but also assist law enforcement in maintaining public safety.

Footage Preserved for Insurance Claims

In addition to assisting law enforcement, hotel security camera footage can also be crucial when it comes to insurance claims. Whether it’s a guest’s personal belongings being stolen from a room or damage caused to the property, the recorded evidence can help support the claim and ensure a fair resolution.

For this reason, hotels often retain footage related to incidents that may result in insurance claims for a longer period of time, typically around 90 days.

Insurance companies may request access to this footage during the claims process to verify the validity of the claim and assess the extent of the damage or loss. By keeping the footage for an extended period, hotels can provide the necessary evidence to facilitate a smooth claims process.

Police Can Request Extended Retention

In certain circumstances, law enforcement agencies may request hotels to retain security camera footage beyond the standard retention period. This usually happens when a serious crime has occurred, and the investigation requires more time to gather evidence and identify the individuals involved.

Hotels are usually cooperative in such situations and work closely with the police to assist in any way possible.

It is worth mentioning that while hotels do keep security camera footage for a specific period, they are also mindful of guest privacy. Hotels ensure that the recordings are securely stored and access is restricted to authorized personnel only.

Factors Impacting a Hotel’s Retention Policy

Hotels often utilize security cameras to ensure the safety and security of their guests and premises. However, the length of time that hotels keep security camera footage can vary depending on several factors.

Privacy Laws in Some Areas Limit Retention

One important factor that impacts a hotel’s retention policy for security camera footage is privacy laws in the area where the hotel is located. Many jurisdictions have specific regulations regarding the retention of video surveillance footage to protect the privacy of individuals.

These laws may dictate the maximum length of time that hotels can retain footage, typically ranging from 30 days to 90 days. It is crucial for hotels to comply with these laws to avoid potential legal issues.

In the United States, for example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines that suggest retaining surveillance footage for a reasonable period of time, typically 30 days, unless it is needed for a specific investigation or legal proceeding.

However, individual states may have their own specific laws and regulations that hotels must follow.

Website URL reference: More information on privacy laws and regulations can be found on the FTC’s official website:

Chain Hotels May Have Standard Policies

Chain hotels often have standardized policies that dictate the retention period for security camera footage across all their properties. These policies are typically designed to ensure consistency and compliance with both privacy laws and the brand’s own security standards.

As a result, the retention period in chain hotels may be longer than what is legally required, with footage often being retained for 60 days or more.

These longer retention periods can be beneficial for both hotels and guests. They allow for a more thorough investigation in case of any incidents, such as theft or other criminal activities, that may have occurred during a guest’s stay.

Additionally, longer retention periods may also help with insurance claims or legal proceedings.

High Resolution Video Requires More Storage

The resolution of security camera footage also plays a role in determining how long hotels can keep the footage. Higher resolution video, such as 4K or HD, requires significantly more storage space compared to lower resolution footage.

Hotels with limited storage capacity may need to shorten their retention periods to accommodate the larger file sizes.

Advancements in storage technology, such as cloud-based storage solutions, have made it easier for hotels to retain high-resolution footage for longer periods of time. However, the cost and feasibility of implementing these technologies can vary depending on the size and budget of the hotel.

Obtaining Copies of Hotel Security Footage

Guest Requests Must Be Timely

When it comes to obtaining copies of hotel security footage, timing is crucial. If a guest suspects an incident has occurred and wants to review the security camera footage, they should make their request as soon as possible.

Most hotels have a policy in place to retain security camera footage for a specific period, usually around 30 days. After this time, the footage may be overwritten or deleted to make space for new recordings. Therefore, it is important for guests to act quickly if they want to access the footage.

Police Have Access with Warrants

In cases where law enforcement needs access to hotel security camera footage as part of an investigation, they can obtain it with a proper warrant. This means that if a crime has been committed on hotel premises and the police believe that the security footage could provide valuable evidence, they have the legal authority to request and obtain a copy of the footage.

Hotels are required to comply with these requests and provide the necessary assistance to law enforcement agencies.

Footage Not Always Released to Public

While guests and law enforcement agencies can typically access hotel security camera footage under certain circumstances, it is important to note that the footage is not always released to the public.

The privacy and security of hotel guests and staff are of utmost importance, and releasing footage to the public without proper justification could potentially violate their rights. Hotels have a responsibility to ensure the confidentiality of their guests and should exercise caution when sharing security camera footage.

Additionally, hotels may also have their own internal policies and procedures for handling requests for security footage. These policies may vary from one hotel to another, so it is recommended to consult with hotel management or security personnel to understand the specific process for obtaining copies of security camera footage.

For more information on hotel security camera policies and procedures, you can visit the Hospitality Net website which provides insights into the hospitality industry and its practices regarding security.

Asking Hotels About Video Policies

When it comes to security camera footage, hotels have varying policies on how long they keep the recordings. It’s important to understand these policies if you have any concerns or questions about your privacy during your stay.

Here are a few tips on how to gather information about a hotel’s video policies.

Check Website or Confirm at Check-In

Before you even arrive at the hotel, it’s a good idea to check their website for any information regarding their video policies. Some hotels may have a dedicated section on their website that explains how long they retain security camera footage.

If you can’t find this information online, you can always ask the hotel staff about their policies at the front desk during check-in.

Note Locations of Security Cameras

While staying at a hotel, take note of the locations of security cameras. This can give you an idea of the areas that are under surveillance and may help you understand the hotel’s security measures. Knowing where the cameras are located can also help you make more informed decisions about your privacy during your stay.

Inquire About Deletion Timeframes

If you have concerns about how long the hotel retains security camera footage, don’t hesitate to ask about their deletion timeframes. Hotels may have different retention policies for different areas within the property.

For example, they may retain footage from public areas for a shorter period compared to footage from guest rooms. By asking about deletion timeframes, you can gain a better understanding of how long your personal information may be stored.

It’s important to note that hotel video policies may vary and are subject to change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the information with the hotel directly, as they will have the most accurate and up-to-date information.


While routines may vary, most hotels delete day-to-day security camera footage after 30-45 days unless needed for incident investigations. Understanding the policies around video retention and access can help travelers know what to expect from their hotel’s CCTV systems.

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