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.
And hard wired? That only works where you can get into the walls to add wiring. I'd have to have my concrete walls or ceilings cut into, probably cutting by accident into already existing wiring or plumbing, there would be clouds of cement dust all over everything in my house, requiring a full house intensive cleaning for days, then the wall would have to be replastered in a way that you wouldn't see the damage (quite difficult), then resealed and repainted.
Battery operated? Anything that requires batteries here goes bad quite quickly from the high humidity. I have to keep my TV monitor and DVD remotes in a box with a tight-fitting lid with dessicant inside the box, as well as other small electronic devices, or they cease to work.
Welcome to life outside a first world country.
yeah right, or just stay home, put a fire extinguisher next to your couch and dont leave the house anymore. Do NOT cross any street anymore since there are cars who can kill you and stones you can fall over. In my houses NOTHING will burn until someone lights it!
I used to have simple smoke detectors in my house (that is now an airbnb space) when my kids were young. Every time we cooked something on the stove,one of the kids would have to be on smoke detail - standing on a chair & using a large piece of cardboard to fan the air to stop the detector’s siren from continuing! After a couple years of that, I said screw this! I have been living in peace ever since preparing bacon, sausage, etc. w/out being plagued with the ineffectual invention. They were designed for new construction. My house is 180 years old and the drafts close to the doors & windows could blow your hair.
A couple of issues with you post.
1, Carbon Monoxide is released everytime something burns, no matter where. If you have a gas stove, Carbon Monoxide is released. If you decided to shut your windows and cook, then you're at risk.
2, just because concrete doesn't burn, other materials in your house are flamable. Carpets, cabinets, furniture, etc. If you don't have a smoke detector and these materials catch on fire, and they block your path to the exit, there is a chance that you can die from smoke inhalation.
3, in order to rent a property in the US, we MUST comply with smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector laws. I couldn't even buy my house until the previous owner installed two more smoke detectors due to location. And since Airbnb is based out of San Francisco...
I'm not trying to attack you here. You've always been helpful in the forums. I'm just pointing out that these are required in most parts of the world, and not having them is not the norm. Just buy them and use them as a tax writeoff.
@Daniel Thanks for your response and comments. The comments actually illustrate what I'm saying regarding people not understanding that some safety features are pointless in some places.
1. Yes, gas stoves do put out small amounts of carbon monoxide, especially when the flame comes in contact with the metal pot. But once the pot heats up, the level instantly drops. And a properly functioning appliance don't put out significant amounts of carbon monoxide, unless the place is not at all ventilated, to trigger a detector alarm- if they did, the alarms would be going off continuously.
" If you decided to shut your windows and cook, then you're at risk." As I mentioned, my kitchen is so well-ventilated that it might as well be outside. French doors in a 2 meter wide doorway, and 3 more large windows. In the 11 years I've lived here, I have never closed the windows- they are always open- there are security bars on the outside, so they can be left open even when no one is home.
2. No one smokes or uses candles inside my home. So how would anything catch fire? As well, there are multiple exits in all areas- if one area was blocked, one would only have to go to the other exit, all within a few steps of each other on opposite sides of what are relatively small rooms.
3.The laws you have to follow in the US are not the laws one has to follow in all countries around the world. Airbnb is a worldwide platform, so shouldn't REQUIRE that all properties conform to US standards.
BTW, a much more common danger with gas usage is gas leaks- which carbon monoxide detectors don't monitor.
My main objection in the first place, and primary point of my post wasn't that Airbnb is encouraging hosts to have these safety devices in their listings, nor was I arguing that it wouldn't be a good idea to have them, even if they are pointless, if it makes guests feel more secure- my objection is to how they are displayed on our listings.
You seem a resonable person, but I can not agree with you and i dont believe they are difficult to buy or install. Obviously, it is the unexpected events and malfuncations that you should be worried about. And fires can have electrical sources. Airbnb, rightly, are highlighting this safety critical information to guests and persuading hosts to comply.
Incidentally, my property does not have a CO source either.
Your stove has an issue with the propane leaking, or lighting. When you light it, the extra fuel explodes, catching the contents of your kitchen on fire.
I'm saying that this will happen, or that it's common, but it has happened.
If you have an issue with these, shouldn't you have an issue with TV and Air Conditioning being crossed off as well? Most travellers expect a TV so they can watch something to unwind at the end of the day, and you live in a tropical environment that people would assume that air conditioning should be included.
@Daniel None of the amenities we don't have are listed visibly. Only ones we do have, except for these. The others are visible with a line through them if a guest clicks on "see all amenities." And it's just a grey line, not a big bold black line designed to draw attention to what you don't provide. That's my point. I don't get why almost everyone here has had such a difficult time grasping that.
"Your stove has an issue with the propane leaking, or lighting. When you light it, the extra fuel explodes, catching the contents of your kitchen on fire."
I'm well aware of the possible dangers of using gas. But imaginary scenarios of what "could" happen are pointless when you've not seen the space for yourself.
There is nothing anywhere near my stove to catch fire. No wood, no cloth, no cabinets, no plastic. Concrete and tiles don't catch fire.
I'm actually extremely safety conscious, believe it or not.
Hi! You can buy them off Amazon. They cost about £10 for a decent one. Our flat is on the third floor and we have a brand new boiler, so there is no need to have a Carbon Monoxide Monitor. However, we understand that guests value this and that they would have concerns when renting a property that they don't know, and as such have put them in! It's really easy and definitely worth it for guests' peace of mind.
Wouldn't it just be easier to source one (I appreciate it's not easy in your circumstances, but you must get some deliveries somehow, or drive somewhere to buy them at some point) and just stick the **bleep** thing to the wall? Tick the box and move on with your hosting and your life? I'm not sure I'd pick this battle if it were me.
Smiling over here - it's been a looooong time since anything I said was bleeped out! For the record, it was the MILDEST of words starting with the letter D and ending with the fourth letter N.
@Helen Oh, it's not impacting my life. And no, I don't get deliveries "somehow".
It's interesting how everyone jumped on here to argue the need for these things, when my point was that they shouldn't paste it on our listings in such a way as to make us appear to be negligent.
Just like they pasted those Home Highlights at the top of our listings, which the vast majority of hosts were upset about.
BTW, there are the weirdest words which get bleeped on this site. Some are normal, everyday, non-profane words that are used, unbeknowst to most of us, somewhere in the world in a discriminatory way :-)
I think it made the national news a couple of months ago about a couple that died in an airbnb in Mexico (I think) due to carbon monoxide. I think airbnb may be reacting to that story, and maybe others?
@Julie Yes, they were in a condo unit- no doubt the windows were closed- air-conditioned in the summer, heat in the winter (it gets quite cold in San Miguel in the winter- the cover photo on that video isn't San Miguel, which is nowhere near the ocean). Terrible tragedy, but still doesn't mean all listings everywhere require those detectors in order to be safe. What would help to save lives is more education in general about making sure there is adequate ventilation when using any gas appliances. Even if the appliance is working perfectly, you should never use a gas appliance without some form of fresh air.