Hospitality Includes Making Guests Safe and SecurePosted by Darren Drevik on Jan 5, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments
In the Disney hierarchy, there’s only one thing that trumps courtesy when it comes to dealing with customers. It’s the only excuse that cast members (what Disney calls its employees) can cite for being less than courteous to guests. As priorities go, it is first, ahead of efficiency and showmanship.
Safety in the hospitality industry should never be an afterthought, and yet for many organizations it’s not something to which hosts devote enough time. If you’ve ever stayed at an inexpensive hotel, or worse at someone’s AirBnB or VRBO house, you can rest assured they’ve done little if anything to worry about your safety. Most likely, they’ve never had an inspection by the fire marshall. Or a health department inspection. In fact, there are websites popping up that document all the unsafe and life-threatening situations AirBnB guests have found themselves in.
Knowing your safety is a top priority is why staying at a B&B or top-quality hotel is worth it. As hosts on a one-on-one level, Lynne and I have put a lot of thought into making sure your room and our property are safe. Another factor consider is that we live here. Aside from wanting to be great hosts, we have a vested interest in making sure everything is safe.
How do we make sure your visit is as safe as we can possibly make it? We have a 10-item bed and breakfast safety list to make sure the Phineas Swann Bed & Breakfast Inn is the safest place to stay in Vermont.
1. Smoke detectors and sprinkler systems. This is something you won’t find in most cheap house rentals. Every room in our houses and hallways have smoke detectors, all wired together so that if one goes off in a building, they all go off. They’re checked monthly, and backup batteries are replaced quarterly.
2. We don’t allow candles or open flames in rooms. The house was built in 1880. This kind of goes without saying.
3. AED. We’re one of the few B&B’s with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) on site. Located in our kitchen, these amazing inventions can save the life of someone having a cardiac attack and are simple to use. While we’re trained on using them, in an emergency even the untrained can use them, as it announces simple-to-understand instructions as you operate it.
4. An EMT on site. This is somewhat unique for a B&B. Lynne volunteers for the Montgomery Rescue Squad and is a certified EMT. It helps Darren sleep better at night knowing she’s on property, and it should be the same for you.
5. CO2 Detectors. We have CO2 detectors in each building for added safety.
6. Emergency Lighting – Located in each room and hallway has a portable emergency lighting system plugged in. Should the power drop out, these tiny flashlights immediately illuminate to help you find your way to the exits. You can even pull the flashlight out of the socket and use it
7. Motion-Sensor Main Stair Lights – In the Main House, the stair lighting from the second floor is motion-triggered, so it won’t keep you up at night — but it’s there instantly when you need to head up or down the main staircase.
8. Fire Extinguishers – Located throughout the property, they’re replaced when their certification expires.
9. Non-skid tape on all external stairs, gritted paint on internal ones – Winter weather can get slippery. We have non-skid tape on our front stairs to the Main House and outside stairs at our River House. Our Carriage House stairs are covered so they don’t get icy or slippery. Our first order of business each morning is salting and shoveling our decks and staircases to make sure they’re safe – even if you’re up early to make first chair.
10. Quarterly safety reviews – Once a quarter we sit down with our team and look for other potential safety hazards, be it loose cords or areas where extra lighting would help. We work and live here too, so we’re always trying to find a better and safer way to do things.
We hope these 10 safety items make you feel even better about coming to stay with us. Bed and Breakfast safety is important. But don’t forget that most of these safety tips can help you around your own house. Take a minute to do a safety walk-through around your home and see if there’s some ideas from our 10-item safety list that might help. Be safe!