June 20 2024 0Comment

Fire Safety Tips for Peer-to-Peer Vacation Rentals

Article by Dale Grant – Marketing Coordinator

When booking a vacation rental through peer-to-peer hospitality services like Airbnb or Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO), you may not have the same level of safety assurances as you would in a hotel. Regulations for these types of accommodations vary widely across jurisdictions, so it’s essential to be proactive about your safety. Here are key fire safety tips to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay.

Before booking your stay, research the local safety regulations for rental properties in your destination, as requirements can differ significantly from one place to another. Confirm with your host that the property complies with these regulations and discuss any additional safety concerns you may have. When you arrive, check that there are working smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home. If possible, smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when one sounds, they all do. Additionally, ensure there are working carbon monoxide alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

The owner should provide a posted floor plan noting all escape routes and exits, along with emergency contact information. Everyone staying in the home should identify two ways out of every room and understand how to escape in an emergency. Ensure that all doors and windows leading outside can be easily opened. Designate an outside meeting place a safe distance from the home where everyone can gather in case of an emergency. It is also important that everyone knows how to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone from outside the rental.

Portable fire extinguishers should be present in the home and easy to reach. If smoking is allowed, ensure there is a designated smoking area well away from the structure with deep, sturdy ashtrays. For grilling, check propane gas tanks for leaks before use, keep grills clean and placed well away from the home and deck railings, and never leave the grill unattended. For charcoal grills, only use charcoal starter fluid and never add other flammable liquids to the fire. Allow coals to cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container.

Ensure that all pathways are free of tripping hazards and that electrical outlets are not overloaded with multiple cords and adaptors. Keep the stovetop clear of anything that can catch fire, such as curtains and towels. Be cautious of rooms with tiny windows that may not serve as a means of escape, and make sure any security bars on doors and windows have quick-release devices that do not require tools, keys, or special effort to open. Before your trip, check the weather forecast for storms that could cause power outages and ensure the property has necessary equipment like batteries and lanterns. Make sure everyone knows where to find a first-aid kit and the address of the rental property. By following these fire safety tips, you can help ensure a safe stay at your vacation rental. Being proactive about your safety can make all the difference in an emergency, allowing you to enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

For more information on Fire Safety while traveling, visit NFPA.