You’ve bought a property, spent hours perfecting a beautiful interior design and taken professional high-quality photos to advertise it online.
So, you’re all set to go – right?
Not so quick!
As well as the legal stuff – such as a vacation rental agreement – there are other practical things owners need to do to ensure home safety for guests in rental properties.
Besides making your property marketable, it’s also vital you have procedures in place which promote guest welfare and keep them out of danger. Here’s what you can do to promote Airbnb home safety at your vacation rental.
1. ENSURE WORKING SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
As fire is one of the biggest risks in any home, it’s essential that your property has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout. The National Fire Protection Associationrecommends placing carbon monoxide detectors in several locations such as: outside any sleeping areas; on each floor of the home; plus anywhere else local law requires.
Airbnb is actively encouraging hosts to install working detectors in their properties and to check them regularly. In fact, they are giving away 36,000 detectros before the end of 2018 and pushing owners to update listings to include this amenity.
As a host, you can help prevent accidental fires by making sure that any home appliances and their plugs are in good working order (i.e. no fraying wires). You should also provide at least one fire extinguisher and fire blanket at your property in case of incidents. Be sure to store them in an obvious, accessible location (such as the kitchen).
In addition to this, you can educate your guests on how to prevent fires in your house rules. Ensure they never leave lit candles unattended, near windows or blankets and out of reach of any small children. Encourage them to unplug small appliances such as toasters and kettles while not in use.
2. TAKE MEASURES TO PREVENT SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, one out of five older adults who fall will incur a broken bone or head injury. Injuries from falls are another common safety hazard in the home. Anything from slippery floors to children’s toys can provoke an accident in your rental.
You can minimize the possibility of these types of injuries in a number of ways. First, ensure all staircases are stable with solid handrails and sufficient lighting. If you often host families at your vacation rental, parents will breathe a sigh of relief when they see you supply an approved safety gate for small children.
Slips can occur in the bathroom when the floor is wet, so provide bath mats with a non-slip backing or secure them with grip tape. You could also think about installing safety rails which are beneficial for senior and simultaneously help to make your property more accessible for disabled travelers.
Finally, offer a space for children’s toys to live during their stay. Whether that’s a big plastic box in the corner of the living room, or a more creative idea which will intercept any trip risks at home.
3. STORE CLEANING PRODUCTS SAFELY
US poison control centers report providing guidance for over 2.1 million incidents in 2016. There are many ordinary household items which can be a poison hazard for your guests – including cleaning and home maintenance products, or over-the-counter medicines.
The right knowledge can shrink the chance of your guests falling victim to this potential hazard. You can help to minimize the dangers of poisoning at your property by ensuring all detergent and cleaning products are kept well out of reach of children. It’s advisable to store them in a high up, locked cupboard to not make them vulnerable to accidental discovery.
Provide sufficient storage for guests’ to put away their own personal cosmetics like makeup or hair products. Using safety latches on bathroom cabinets, for example, can be a good way to deter kids from getting their hands on these items.
4. LEAVE SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING APPLIANCES
You may think that the most obvious burn guests can suffer at your property is sunburn. However, burns are also caused by household appliances like stoves, ovens, dishwashers and barbecues. To reduce the risk of any guests ending up in A&E with burns, there are some simple actions you can carry out at your vacation rental.
You can add a dishwasher latch so that children can’t accidentally open it before it’s cooled down completely after the cycle has finished. Plus, advise guests to use the back burners of the stove when cooking as this will make it difficult for small children to reach and touch the hot stovetop. Additionally, you could invest in some stove knob covers which prevent little hands from turning the gas on, or from adults accidentally knocking them into the “on” position.
Moreover, leave clear and detailed instructions for safely using outdoor barbecues to discourage any mishaps or injuries from taking place.
Keeping guests safe and sound during their vacation is a huge priority for rental property owners. Airbnb home safety isn’t something that should scare you as an owner. By providing rules on the proper use of equipment and offering risk-minimizing solutions at your property, you will easily avoid property damage and any traveler accidents.
Author Jess Ashworth