Ensuring your guests have a memorable stay is just one part of being an Airbnb host, safety is another - your guests want to be able to enjoy their time with you without worrying about things going wrong. Obviously, you can’t prevent every accident, sometimes things happen, but, you can decrease the likelihood of them doing so. And, here’s how:
Do a Risk Assessment
Whether carried out by yourself or a health and safety professional, a risk assessment will identify potential hazards and the level of risk associated with them. Once identified, you can put precautions in place to reduce the risk. For example, if you have wires on the floor, tidy them up and secure them out the way of walkways or if you have a slippery bath, add a non-slip mat or railings. Not every hazard can be removed, of course, so highlight them where you can and display warning signs. Finally, if your property is advertised as child-friendly, have children in mind when you walk around and install, for example, locks on cupboards, stair gates and fences around ponds in the garden.
Regularly assessing your property and updating your risk assessment will ensure you keep on top of any new hazards and keep your guests safe.
Adhere to All Regulations
Opening your property to guests brings with it a series of regulations that must be adhered to. For example, your property needs to be gas safety checked by a professional every year, and you must obtain a certificate. You may also need to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) to confirm the safety of electrics in your home; electrical goods may also be PAT tested. Regulations change all the time, so make sure you keep up to date and that your property remains compliant and as safe as possible.
Plan for Fire
Following on from the previous point, there are a series of regulations related to fire safety that must be adhered to, so do your research, remain up to date and carry out a dedicated fire risk assessment. Install fire extinguishers, fire blankets and other safety equipment and make sure your guests know how to quickly and safely exit your property in the event of a fire – clearly label the route and provide any additional information needed, for example, is there a meeting point outside? If you have an open fire, ensure your chimney and flue are maintained and that you supply a fireguard.
Write a Detailed Manual
Every Airbnb property has a welcome pack, but not all are detailed. The more you include in yours, the better; the more your guests know about your property, and how it operates, the less likely things are to go wrong. Provide instructions for things such as the boiler, electrical equipment and open fires and, most importantly, include an emergency plan complete with contact numbers.
Secure Your Property
Safety isn’t only related to your guest's use of the property; it is also linked to security – guests want to know your property is not easy to break in to. Install burglar alarms, security lights and make sure locks are sturdy. Including a safe for your guest’s valuables is also advisable and will help with peace of mind.