10th June 2019
Creating a Safe Home for Airbnb Guests
An important aspect of Airbnb hosting is ensuring that your property is up to home safety standards before guests are occupying it. As a host, it is always sensible to create a safe environment to protect those staying and your own property. By implementing procedures, providing information and installing safety equipment, you will be able to safeguard residents and avoid potential risks.
Airbnb safety is a major concern of the platform and its community. For this reason, they provide a number of tips for home safety and security, to ensure hosts have the necessary resources to protect guests. It’s a hosts responsibility to abide by the health and safety regulations of the country they operate in, as well as adhering to Airbnb’s own regulations. New Zealand local councils usually stipulate the following rules for all residential homes:
- Installing smoke detectors within each room of the home and regularly checking to ensure they are still working
- Fencing pools deeper than 400mm
- Fitting decks and balconies that are more than 1 metre high with 1-metre fences
- Properly storing chemicals and poisons – this includes harsh cleaning products
Safety regulations are subject to the region you live in and the amenities your guests have access to. Your obligations will require a unique assessment of your property to ensure you have covered all bases before you host your first guest. For the most part, however, home safety is universal. Here’s how Airbnb users can create a safe environment for successful hosting to go off without a hitch:
Install Functional Smoke Alarms
Working smoke alarms are required by law in every rental property in New Zealand. Not only this, but they must be installed in every room a person sleeps in or within 3 metres of every bedroom door. In cases of multi-level homes, they are also required on every floor. There are also a number of specifications the installed fire alarms need to have. According to Tenancy Services, alarms must be:
- Be hardwired or have a battery life of 8 years
- Be installed correctly, adhering to the manufacturers specifications
It is also crucial to regularly test smoke alarms to ascertain whether they are still functioning correctly. A good length of time between checks is 3 months, this will provide peace of mind that everything is still working as it should.
On Airbnb, smoke alarms are mentioned in the listing description, once checked off, guests will be able to see that you are providing this to them when they make a booking. With fires in the home being a major concern for safety, it’s important to take this step to protect guests and other residents. Smoke alarms are a proven way to reduce the risk of injury and property damage through accidental house fires.
Provide Instructions for Appliances
While you yourself may believe that your appliances are simple and easy to run, guests that haven’t used them before may think differently. Ovens, stoves, dishwashers, laundry machines and dryers may all require instructions to ensure they are operated correctly. Using appliances incorrectly can be cause for serious injury and property damage, so it’s important to provide obvious information about every appliance your guests have access to. On the other hand, if a guest is unsure about using something, they might instead choose not to use it at all. In this case, your guests’ experience can be greatly impacted, if say, for example, they are unable to use the stove. Whether you are leaving details written by yourself or the manufacturer, taking this step can greatly benefit your guests’ stay.
Reduce the Risk of Accidents
One of the other major risks in the home is an accidental fall. This is a concern that is heightened particularly if you are hosting older guests or if you have a stairwell in your home. As a prevalent safety hazard, hosts should do all they can to reduce the likelihood of this occurring. Hosts can accident proof their home by installing secure handrails, adequate lighting and mats or rugs to prevent slipping. Accessibility will be a primary concern for many guests booking with you, by reassuring this demographic that your home is safe for them to stay in, you may also end up attracting a new group of guests.
Store Potentially Hazardous Items Correctly
Cleaning products can pose a large safety risk in the home if they are not stored or handled correctly. Cleaning, home maintenance, and medication all require proper care to remove the risk of poisoning. It is also important to note that special care must also be taken by hosts that are targeting families as children are more at risk than adults. Hazardous items should always be labelled correctly and stored out of the reach of children, while safety latches on cupboards and storage on higher shelves are just some of the ways hosts can minimise risk in a rental property.
A Safe Environment is a Vital Part of Airbnb Hosting
Home safety should always be considered by Airbnb hosts that are taking this role seriously. Reducing risks and minimising hazards is straightforward when approached with the right resources and concern. Safety in the home should be considered as much as security while operating an Airbnb. By utilising the information available through Airbnb and local council specifications, hosts can provide guests with a safe space to enjoy their stay.