While I understand the need for a safe environment, I'm really upset by the way Airbnb has now pasted those amenities prominently on our listings, with a big black line across them if you don't have them, as if you don't care about your guests' safety and you're a negligent host.
This is yet another brilliant idea from people sitting in offices in first world countries who don't seem to be aware that they are working for a worldwide platform, where the need for such things is not applicable in all places. Just like when they decided that all hosts must provide sheets and towels- there was a huge outcry from hosts in many parts of the world, mostly ones with beach cottage listings, where those things have never been provided, aren't practical to provide, and people who go there don't expect. There was such a huge outcry, that Airbnb backtracked on it. You'd think they'd have learned something from that, but apparently not.
I do use LP gas for my hot water and cooking stove. The propane tanks, as well as the water heater are OUTSIDE. There is zero way there could be carbon monoxide from that in the house. As far as the cooking stove goes, that's, of course, in my kitchen. As I live in the tropics, the many windows are ALWAYS open. Even if there was carbon monoxide (which is obvious- the stove flame will be burning yellow or red rather than blue, I'd see that, I live here) with the many windows open, fumes would be so diluted, a detector wouldn't even pick them up. Additionally, the kitchen is in an entirely separate wing of the house than the bedrooms that are on the second floor, and accessed by an outside staircase. There is no upper story at all over the kitchen, and even if the bedrooms were over it, the kitchen ceiling is a foot thick concrete slab.
Smoke alarms- my house is entirely concrete construction, including the roof. The windows and doors are made of metal. There is no way there could be a house fire, it's physically impossible. Airbnb suggests "Mount the smoke alarm outside the guest room door." I guess they assume that all homes are just like theirs, and that the bedrooms open off a hallway. My guest room door opens onto an outside balcony. I guess I should hang a smoke alarm from the sky.
Neither of these safety features are of any use where I live. They're about as useful as coals to Newcastle. Yet I now have them boldly featured on my listing description with a big bold black line across them. Bad girl, bad, bad. Doesn't care if her guests die.
Why not put them in the amenities box that hosts can check off and guests can click on if they're so concerned? They don't put any other amenities we don't offer on our listings with a black line through them. This is totally unfair and ill-considered.
Hi @Sarah I can see your point of view on this, but I think Airbnb are keen to cover themselves just in case there is an accident in one of "their" properties. Sadly there has been quite a bit of of publicity here in recent years covering tragic stories where young children have died in fires caused by faulty boilers, carbon monoxide poisoning etc, mostly in down market rented accommodation or where unscrupulous landlords have failed to properly maintain caravans/mobile homes in holiday parks.
Interesting, we do have it and it is hidden in our amenities but when someone doesn't have it then it is prominent on the top with big bold letters
I wonder if it has something to do with their recent (ongoing ?) promotion of such detectors. They are giving 1 for free to those who apply and don't have them already but if someone needs more then 1 detector then he has to buy it.
We got one for free from Airbnb last year.
Thanks for the link. In Australia, it is not compulsory to have carbon monoxide detectors, only smoke alarms. I raised my objections in having to pay and install an appliance in excess of the two smoke detectors, building fire alarm; fire extinguisher and fire hose outside the door of my apartment and a fire blanket hanging in my kitchen. The Australian fire standards only specify smoke detectors within a home, and if you don't use an open fireplace or a gas-fuelled heater or hot water system, having a carbon monoxide detector is superfluous as the smoke detector will already detect smoke generated from a fire.
Hi James! I was sent an email offering one to me. I ordered it and am expecting a delivery shortly. I’m in Tasmania and I must say I was surprised to have it offered to me!
I have been waiting a year for my "free" detector. It still says "item Processing" on the space where I ordered it.
@Sarah Hi Sarah, most people that die in house fires die of smoke inhalation caused by furniture / carpet / curtains / etc, not from the building burning down. I am pretty sure your house is furnished and so your guests are at risk in the event of a fire. Whether they are required by law in your country is irrelevant. They cost next to nothing and could save a life. So just get one. They are not amenities. They should be mandatory in ALL rental accommodation.
Hi @Sarah. You are very lucky to have a solid home, that must also make it so cool during the tropical weather. Maybe safety equipment should only be a filter to choose with your accommodation, but if I use a hotel, I like to think the fire extinguisher and smoke detectors are working....
My home is a typical Darwin, elevated house with steel framework, but jarrah floorboards upstairs and modern gyprock and plaster walls and ceilings.
When I was a child, I lived alongside a low set wooden block of units in Sydney. I remember waking to them disintegrating during a blazing fire.... completely burnt to the ground!
I also have my homestay space under my living area, and by law, I have wired-in smoke detectors in some areas, the other ones are merely battery operated. But they are everywhere! I also have carbon monoxide detectors where car fumes can accumulate from vehicles idling nearby.
But even though I understand your concerns about not needing them in your setting/ homestay, @Gillian is absolutely on the money. It is modern life that will kill us. The toxic gases and fumes from soft furnishings such as curtains and blinds, furniture, lacquers, paints etc will starve us from oxygen, then kill us before the flames generally would reach us.
A small scenario: Two years ago, I was working in one end of the house and could hear an alarm through the closed door. Questioning myself whether it was one of ours, I opened the hall door and it was indeed in my space! I rushed down the hall and opened the study to find the room full of revolting smelling smoke. I ran back to the cupboard in the hall and grabbed the fire extinguisher. On my return, I realised I couldn’t see any 🔥 flames. What had happened was the computer was giving off the smoking muck. Later after opening it, my husband found that some of the wires had melted. Had I not been alerted, and also switched off the electricity to isolate the smouldering computer innards, I could have had an electrical fire. So smoke detectors/alarms have their place in protecting us!
What many people don’t realise is that a fire doubles its size every 30 seconds!
Now that’s fast! So any early warning system to wake, to get up and to move, before lungs and brain shut down, is a necessity in my world.
A smoke detector would have detected this so a carbon monoxide detector in this instance is superfluous, unless you have an open fire or gas-fuelled hot water system or heaters.
@Rachel@Cathie@Gillian@Branka & Silvia Thanks for responses, all. But most of you missed my point. It's the way this is displayed on my listing that I take objection to. If you don't offer kitchen priviledges or a private bathroom, how would you like it if that was under the visible amenities on your listing (as opposed to clicking on "see more") with a big bold black line across it?
And why would one have a carbon monoxide detector if there is no possible source of carbon monoxide in the house? It would be like requiring you to have a baby gates, baby-proof cupboard latches, and baby-proof covers on all your electrical outlets, when your place is adults only, and displaying that prominently on your listing with a big black line across them.
@Sarah I agree, it's annoying and stupid, but what else is new? We have one, and we also ordered one of the free ones from airbnb, I guess they are paranoid about it because of that family who I think died as a result of unknown carbon monixide at an airbnb last year. Or, it could simply be more of the mountain of evidence that they do not have their priorities straight.
@Mark Yes, I believe it was a family staying in Cancun. In a condo unit, no doubt air-conditioned, all the windows closed and probably the water heater or something that could produce carbon monoxide located inside the unit.
Hardly something to have a knee-jerk reaction to and assume that all hosts need to have a CM detector, even if is non-applicable to their listing. If some kid tripped and fell down the stairs at an airbnb, sustaining serious injury or death, would they then dictate all airbnbs have to be ground floor units only with no stairs?
@Sarah I am mandated by law to have a co detector even though there is no source for it. But true the way Airbnb present it is disturbing, especially given Airbnb does nothing about being proactive in the "lack" field for a hosts benefit. I would like a big black line, even a neon blinking light, right at the top of my listing to highlight: no elevator; no hi-tech coffee machine; no concierge service; no daily maid service; etc.