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.
@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.
@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.
@Ange Well, that is ridiculous as well- mandated by law even though there's no possible source of C.M. But no such mandate exists where I live- I'm not in contravention of any laws, just made to look negligent by Airbnb.
Now that's would be a much more useful feature- things listed that you don't have but which entitled guests erroneously assume or demand to be provided with that big black line. Good idea.
@Sarah I think it's because most buildings here are apartment blocks, close quarters, so it's a lowest common denominator law to cover irresponsible idiots, you just never know what people will get up to. Now they need to be hardwired aswell - too many of @Lawrene guests ripping out the batteries and taking off with all working bits I guess:)
We normally agree but on this occassion I have a different prospective.
I can't agree - as a guest I would want to know if a listing provided fire and carbon monoxide detector.
I'm not sure that it is comparable with your example about having child specific facilities when you don't cater for children, as I would say the vast majority of homes have a boiler, gas cooking or gas central heating.
Airbnb are providing these to hosts for free so easy for hosts to provide them.
And actually I think it would be a good idea to cross through key amenities such as kitchen facilities.
I REALLY do understand @Sarah, but what seems like an overkill for safety, Airbnb may not have options, to keep the safety systems on a lesser profile. The way they are publishing the safety features might be specifically required by the local government regulations, as part of the coronial investigations. If they don’t make the safety equipment prominent, they can’t operate in the area. This then just made it easier to standardise the safety information across the platform. Should this affect every host? Do they have better options than this current display methods may be open to debate, and still may need some further discussion across the forum; only Airbnb can give us the reason...
We may state that this information is not published with hostels and hotels, but they fall under specific building and legal laws and regulations. Generally, I think hosts are not against the required safety systems, just the way they are published. But regulations in particular jurisdictions may have tied the companies hands.
So can anyone else in CC, shed a “legal” light on this aspect of displaying carbon monoxide features? Or why making it prominent if you don’t have one assists, when it shows up as available or not, in the amenities.I came across this short article that made me wonder about it being a legal requirement. Then adopted globally by the company.
Sorry some mistakes here: watching my grandkids at the same time, so focus was split.
Second paragraph: should read “company’s hands, rather than plural.
Typo error in last paragraph: should read “exists” rather than “assists”.