Are you considering joining Airbnb to open up your home to host paying guests as a way of making a little extra money and meeting new and interesting people? As well as fluffy towels, plump pillows and extra cutlery, you’ll need to ensure your home is safe.
Not only are these safety essentials a must to ensure the safety of your guests, but they’re also often required for your listing, and without them, you’re putting your Airbnb operation at risk. While in the UK you’re not required to comply with the same regulations as ordinary landlords, this doesn’t mean you should be relaxed when it comes to safety in your premises.
However, don’t fret. We’ve put together a short list of Airbnb safety essentials, and they are all items you should already have in your home to ensure the safety of your family.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
As an absolute minimum, ensure you have at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home. However, for complete protection, you would want to have these installed in the rooms where you expect people to spend the majority of their time. These include living rooms and bedrooms, as well as central areas such as hallways and landings.
Optical smoke alarms are now the best choice. The advanced sensor technology reduces the risk of false alarms caused by burnt toast or steam, and they are ideal at detecting smouldering fires from furnishings quickly.
You may also want to consider having a heat alarm in the kitchen—the room where most accidental fires begin.
Carbon monoxide alarms are another essential safety item for your Airbnb property. Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide is produced by boilers and gas cookers which are not working correctly. It has also been known to seep through walls from neighbouring properties. These alarms should be installed in the room where potential sources of CO exist, as well as in bedrooms at pillow height.
A Fire Extinguisher and Fire Blanket
By providing equipment which anyone can use to tackle a small fire, you and your guests are able to take quick action to prevent a fire from taking hold and spreading. A small fire extinguisher and fire blanket are ideal.
When selecting an extinguisher, your best choice is a one- or two-litre powder fire extinguisher. Multipurpose, it will tackle the fires which are most likely in the home, and then some. Just be cautious when using these in enclosed spaces as they can affect breathing and vision.
Fire blankets are perfect in the kitchen. Simple to use, you grab hold of the tabs, place it over the burning pan to smother the fire of oxygen, and leave to burn itself out.
Although not the prettiest accessories for your home, ensure everyone can find the fire blanket and extinguisher easily and quickly in an emergency.
First Aid Kit
While first aid training isn’t necessary, a first aid kit is essential for your home. Helping to ensure you’re prepared if someone injures themselves, you’ll be ready with plasters, bandages, and dressings.
With a case to keep everything together in and protected, you may also want to include some first aid guidance which offers advice on how to handle the most common first aid injuries and illnesses.
Again, ensure everyone knows where to find it.
Fire Escape Ladder
In rental properties and private homes alike, it is suggested that you have two exit routes available. While downstairs this may be the front and back doors, upstairs the only viable route of exit is commonly the stairs. A fire escape ladder provides an alternative, and safe, method of escape via a window.
Compactly stored when not in use, they’re easy to set up when required in an emergency. To use, you hook it over the window and then throw the rungs of the ladder out of the window.
With choice available for two- and three-storey properties, there is also an option available for exit via a loft window.
Airbnb Safety Essentials
Equipping your home with safety essentials means your guests are as safe as possible so they can relax and fully enjoy your hosting skills. It also means that when they’ve gone home, you and your family are safe too.