Hosting is fun – but it’s also a responsibility of a host to keep their guests safe. As the popularity of platforms like Airbnb increases, more and more people are sharing their homes with strangers. Make sure you’ve got your GUARDHOG insurance in place – and read on for our five tips for safety in your Airbnb listed property…
- Fire safety
Fire safety is vital whether you’re a host or not – it saves lives. On the Airbnb website you can find information about the Government’s guide to fire safety in paid-for accommodation in England and Wales. The guide states that “fire safety law applies to you if anyone pays to stay in your property, other than to live there as a permanent home” – and provides information on how to do a fire safety risk assessment, and how to improve your fire safety measures. If you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland, laws vary, so check what applies in your region.
- Emergency contacts
Do you have a ‘house rules’ book, or a welcome pack at your property? This is a good place to list local emergency numbers such as a doctor and the nearest hospital A&E department. Next to these details, it’s a good idea to say where the first aid kit is kept too. And even if you’re always in your home when guests stay, leave your own contact number, as well as a back-up, such as a friend, family member or neighbour.
- Protecting privacy
The privacy of your guests is important, not just so that they enjoy their stay, but also so that you are complying with any privacy regulations. Check the law in your region and let your guests know if you’re using any security cameras or surveillance equipment at your property or nearby.
Before you list your home on the Airbnb platform, do a thorough audit of the safety of your property. Walk around and spot any areas where your guests could trip or fall and either make changes to remove the risk, or mark the area with a warning sign or sticker. It’s also a good time to conceal any exposed electric wires, lock away and dangerous items like sharp items or medication and make sure that any staircases have a bannister or railing. This is especially important if you are welcoming families with children. Always tell guests about any potential hazards.
- Ventilation and temperature
Making sure the air in your property is clean and the right temperature is important not only for your guests’ comfort, but for their safety too. Your home should be well ventilated with an easy to understand way to control the temperature. Any heaters should be safe and easy to switch on and off, and if you have gas appliances they will need to be serviced regularly. You’ll also need a functioning carbon monoxide detector. The Airbnb website recommends hosts read the gas safety regulations that apply to England, Wales and Scotland and those that apply in Northern Ireland. Happy hosting!