You’ll probably know that hotels and other accommodation - both here and abroad - need to comply with strict guest safety laws. In practice, this means that clarity around location of fire escapes, use of fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and other devices in case of an emergency, needs to be clear, documented and understood.
It’s no different when it comes to renting out your Airbnb property. Part of your obligations when letting your property is to ensure the safety and well being of your guests. Regularly updated laws and standards dictate that making your home as safe as possible, not only protects your guests and the condition of your property, but increases the likelihood of your getting future bookings. Airbnb property management can help you achieve this.
What do I need to know and do?
Airbnb property management can be a lucrative business but there are things that you’ll need to consider before doing so. Here’s a few safety first tips.
Find out about fire safety regulations in your area
In the UK, fire safety laws apply if anyone pays to stay in your property, which means you are legally required to do a robust fire safety risk assessment and implement fire safety measures. Please remember that international visitors could favour Airbnb properties that have a range of fire safety measures in place, in common with what is expected in their country, so the more stringent the better.
Think about the layout of your kitchen area
The majority of accidental house fires often start in the kitchen. If you’re providing a cooking space for guests, make sure it’s as safe as possible. Avoid placing or storing flammable materials (such as curtains, paper towels or dish cloths) near a gas cooker. Provide spark devices rather than matches for your guests as they present less of a risk. Also, never place toasters under wall-mounted units.
Show guests how to use heaters and open fires
If guests are staying during the colder months it’s strongly recommended that you give them a safety tour of your house with demonstrations on how to use any portable heaters and open fires. Clearly they also need to understand how your central heating and hot water operates. Educate them about the dangers of hanging clothes to dry over, or close to, certain types of heaters. If you’ve an open hearth, show them the safety procedures of lighting and stoking a fire.
Check electrical appliances
Make sure you check all your electric plug-in points and replace any that are damaged. Also, check all appliances – making sure cables are in good condition and not frayed. Provide power boards with safety switches that guests can use for any of their devices.
Smoke alarms should be fitted throughout your home. These alarms warn guests if a fire breaks out – especially if it happens at night, when they’re asleep. If your property uses gas or oil for cooking or heating, you’ll need to place carbon monoxide alarms in appropriate areas. Heat alarms can also be installed for safety. The most important thing to do is check the batteries on a regular basis (preferably after each guest departure).
You should have at least one fire extinguisher on every level of your home. These should be placed in rooms with the highest probability of a fire — the kitchen especially, as well as any areas with open fires. Another option is a fire blanket which is a safety device designed to extinguish small fires. It consists of a sheet of a fire retardant material.
List emergency contact information
Always keep a list of emergency contact numbers in a central place (stuck on the fridge, by the front door, and in your welcome pack). Don’t assume that your contact information is enough if a serious emergency occurs at your Airbnb property. Information should include:
contact numbers for local emergency medical, fire and police services
exact locations of fire extinguishers and fire blankets
emergency exit routes
location of first aid kit
contact numbers for you and any partner(i.e. your landline plus mobile)
Elite Property Management for all your safety needs
If you’re uncertain, or require more help on ensuring that your Airbnb property is safe, Elite can help. As a top end Airbnb property management service, Elite helps get you started and manages the entire letting process taking ownership of all of the stress and everyday issues that arise. Additionally, the dedicated team at Elite:
provides peace of mind in the knowledge that your home is well looked after and your guests are also receiving a first class service from start to finish
ensures the safety and comfort of all guests, from families to individual business visitors
creates the right service ensuring that guest communication and attention to detail is fully professional from date of enquiry, through to check-in onto departure
manages the expectations and supports owners in terms of property maintenance and standards of cleanliness, whilst offering styling tips on how to always get the best out of your property
Speak to the Airbnb management experts
Find out more about Elite’s Airbnb property management service and how we can help you move into the property letting market.