As the pandemic has seen a decrease in those visiting hotels and an increase in people choosing to let vacation homes. This can lead to a lot of concerns for property owners about the safety of their investment as it is not possible to 100% check all people who will be using the home. Here are some safety tips for owners to ensure safety in your vacation home.
Door and Window Locks
The easiest thing to make sure of is that all exterior doors and windows have working locks. Deadbolt locks provide extra peace of mind and it is worth investing in a smart lock for a building’s main entrance where you can. If that is not possible an external lockbox will allow you to leave keys without having to be present for check-in and you can provide a code to the guest. In the case of current times, it reduces face-to-face interaction with guests keeping you and them safe.
This section may sound daunting but really, I’m talking about having a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, etc. Make sure that you have a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in every hallway near sleeping areas that are uncovered and up to date with your region’s requirements. It may be worth installing smoke detectors with flashing lights to help those who are hard of hearing.
Place fire extinguishers throughout the rental, especially where there is a fire risk like the kitchen. Check the expiry date and make a note of when it will need replaced and make sure each one has detailed operating instructions.
In case of emergencies, you should provide a fully stocked first aid kit and ensure guests know where to find it. Again, take note of any expiry dates and be sure to restock the kit after every booking.
Finally, provide the guests with an emergency contact list and details of how to safely use the facilities. This can easily be done by creating a welcome pack in a binder or on a digital portal that guests can access as needed. Make sure that your number is also on this list so that the renter can contact you as well in the instance of an emergency.
To ensure further safety on the outside of your home you should make sure your house is visible to any emergency vehicles trying to find the address. Make sure house numbers are easily visible to anyone passing.
Consider installing exterior lighting with motion sensors to ensure that those returning to the address in the dark don’t have any accidents. If laws and regulations are amenable you should look into installing security cameras around the property. Make sure to inform guests about cameras and their locations. Obviously, you should not place cameras anywhere someone would reasonably expect privacy.
Maintenance and Safety Checks
Ensure you give the property regular maintenance and safety checks to ensure all facilities are working as expected and nothing needs to be fixed or replaced. This is where all those e dates you’ve recorded especially come in handy.
Change all equipment according to manufacturer’s instructions i.e. batteries. During the winter, you may need to increase the number of checks, especially if the property is lying empty for most of the season. To prevent freezing pipes and water damage it’s worth installing smart water, temperature, and humidity sensors to give you real-time alerts of any potential risks.
Make sure the external area of the property has clear walkways and both inside and outside clearly mark any tripping hazards.
Make sure all rooms and shared areas are cleaned and disinfected between guests. You may look to get staff trained with a specific cleaning certification program and display that certification both on websites where people can rent your property and in the property to provide peace of mind to guests.
Have a housekeeping schedule with protocols and checklists easily available to staff whilst also allowing yourself and guests to check compliance.
Check the local regulations to make sure that your property meets all safety-related laws. This covers both the internal and external property.
Finally, you should make sure you have good rental insurance that covers short-term rentals and check carefully what is included.
If you follow these tips you can help give both yourself and guests peace of mind whilst ensuring that your property is kept in perfect condition.
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