10 SAFETY, CLEANLINESS AND HYGIENE
A number of safety issues have been raised in previous chapters. Keep in mind that slippery, uneven surfaces and steep stairs are potentially very dangerous hazards and you should be thinking about how to minimize the risk of accidents. Many international tourists that have
a lot of money to spend at ecolodges are older and will be hurt very badly if they fall.
Since you will probably be building in wood or bamboo, there is the risk of fire at your ecolodge. You should therefore put one fire extinguisher in every room. Guests and staff should be reminded not to smoke in bed and be very careful with candles. If you are building near a lake or in an open area, lightning is another hazard that can be mitigated by installing lightning rods. Do not put electric sockets in places
where they can get wet. For outside lighting, install water-proof lights, sockets and spotlights.
In the overall layout of your ecolodge, consider outsider access to rooms and facilities. It is not necessary to build a wall around the property, but site access should be routed to allow your staff to monitor a limited number of entry points. If you want to build a wall, consider using natural fencing like bamboo or hedges instead.
Your ecolodge and the people working there should always look clean and tidy. No garbage should be left lying around in the garden or rooms, and the restaurant and all bathrooms should be very, very clean. Food should be stored properly and guests should be reminded not to drink tap water by posting a small sign above faucets. Your staff should always wash their hands before preparing and serving food.
What if one of your guests is injured or there is an emergency? This may happen, therefore the ecolodge staff should be trained in basic first aid and you should keep a list of all emergency contact numbers in a place familiar to all employees.
You should also have the contact information of all foreign embassies in the Lao PDR. If your ecolodge is located in a remote area it is a good idea to have a pre-set evacuation plan in case a guest is seriously injured.
Restaurants and kitchens should be kept clean
Your guests can be easily injured on uneven walkways or stairs that are too steep