Fire safety at your home away from home

Fire safety at your home away from home
Posted on 06/14/2019

Peer-to-peer hospitality services, such as Airbnb, Vacation Rentals by Owner and other types of vacation rentals are not regulated in the same way as hotels. Requirements vary widely across jurisdictions.

Act as your own safety advocate and know before you go. Be sure to follow these safety measures provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

Before you leave:

  • Check online to see your travel destination’s regulations for rental properties and ask your host if the property meets the regulations.
  • Discuss other safety concerns you may have.

Take a look at the forecast for any storms that could cause power outages. Make sure the property has equipment like batteries and lanterns in the event of a power outage.

Check out the property for the following safety measures:

  • Working smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home. They should be interconnected, if possible (if one alarm sounds, they all sound).
  • Portable fire extinguishers that are easy to reach.
  • Working carbon monoxide alarms outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home and in other locations as required by laws, codes or standards.
  • A posted floor plan noting all escape routes, exits and emergency contact information.

Meet with the other members of your group to make sure everyone knows key information including:

  • The address of the home.
  • Two ways out of every room and how to escape in an emergency.
  • How to call 9-1-1 from a cell phone from outside.

Check all doors and window to ensure:

  • All doors and windows that lead outside are able opened.
  • Security bars on doors and windows have quick-release devices. Tools, keys or special efforts should not be needed to open them.
  • Tiny windows aren’t too small to serve as a means of escape.

While staying at the home, make sure:

  • All pathways stay free and clear of tripping hazards.
  • Electrical outlets are free from multiple cords and adaptors.
  • The stovetop is clear. Anything that can catch fire is not near the stovetop, such as curtains and towels. 

Tips courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association.

Published June 14, 2019