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.
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.
@Sarah Your head must be melted trying to make your (very valid) point over and over again to people who are choosing to read into your post, something you're not saying at all, but completely missing/ignoring what you are saying... 😉
You're correct, of course, in that the big black line makes you look like a neglectful host, but in Airbnb's crisis control universe, they seem to believe such a move makes them look good, and responsible, and caring, and ethical, and that's all that matters.
What a shame though that they weren't caring enough or ethical enough to help this family out where help was really needed, and a GoFundMe page had to be set up to repatriate the tragic couple's bodies.
"Ed and Barbara died together in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning while vacationing in Mexico. Their family needs financial help to get them home, for funeral expenses and for possible legal fees. Please contribute to help Ed' and Barbara's children, as they work to handle the challenging logistics through their shock and grief"
My brother died in Taiwan, following a hit and run incident, 22 years ago. He was only 22 himself, so in an entry level job, and he was on a night out with friends when it happened - not in the workplace - but the response from the company he worked for, Acer Computers, was incredible. My parents travelled to Taiwan to bring Derek home (he was still on life support, as his organs were being donated), and from the moment they arrived in the country, they were looked after by Acer, every step of the way.
Mum and Dad were met at the airport by two high-ranking representatives from the company, handed an envelope full of local currency that was more than enough to cover everything for the 8 days they were there, their flights, hotel, food etc were all paid for, Acer provided translators, drivers, legal advisors and even hired a private detective to track down the man responsible when the police failed to find him, they covered the enormous costs of having my brother's body repatriated, and the same two wonderful people who took care of my parents while they were in Taiwan, flew all the way to Ireland for Derek's funeral. A masterclass in kindness, compassion and humanity, in total strangers' darkest hours, which will never be forgotten, and for which my family will be forever grateful.
Airbnb, for all their moralising rhetoric and their virtue signalling, would do well to learn a thing or two from Acer.
@Susan Thank you for "getting" it. And for pointing out that others haven't been.
I'm so sorry about your brother. How tragic.
And yes, making it look like hosts are negligent if they don't have this, that, or the other, yet not caring enough to actually help out a family who died in an Airbnb, is what host Tony calls "virtue signalling". Empty words and clueless policies but no accountability.
Thank you Sarah. I guess many would say that the couple who died in the Airbnb weren't Airbnb's responsibility, which to an extent, is true, but neither was my brother Acer's responsibility. That didn't stop them from being compassionate human beings and making it their responsibility though.
I don't usually speak about private stuff online but I think you might enjoy this story. Derek loved his sport, especially Gaelic football, and he missed that more than anything when he was away from home. In those days, Gaelic football - understandably! - was unheard of in Asia. So he and a couple of his friends started a Gaelic club in Taipei - Taiwan Celts.
Within weeks, locals who had never seen such a game, were turning up to watch the boys training, and before long, they were joining in themselves. All of a sudden, half of Taipei wanted to play Gaelic football!
Seeing the massive interest in the game, Derek had a brainwave. He got in touch with other young Irish ex-pats working in different countries all over Asia, and asked them if they were interested in playing a tournament. Even though none of them were playing Gaelic out there, and they all had to form ad-hoc teams just like Taiwan Celts had done, with half the players never having kicked a ball in their lives before, they were all well up for it (and all had to have the proper footballs sent out to them from Ireland - the Post Office must have been wondering what on earth was going on that summer with all the gaelic balls being posted to all these Asian countries!)
There happened to be some sort of trade fair taking place in Taipei around that time, which representatives from Guinness attending, so Derek and his two friends put on their best (only!) suits and rocked up to the event. Needless to say, they were refused entry but they hung out in the hotel bar until it was over, on the off-chance the delegates would turn up there eventually. Which they did. And by the time the boys left the bar late that night, they had somehow managed to secure sponsorship from Guinness for their first ever Guinness Asian Gaelic Games tournament, to be held in Manila a few months later, with teams from all over Asia competing, made up of players (and ĺearners!), guys and girls, of every size, shape, age, creed, race and colour from all over the world.
From all accounts, the inaugural GAGG event was a legendary affair, with equal amounts of fun and games being had in the bar, and on the pitch. People still talk about it to this day. Derek only ever got to play in that first tournament before he left us, but it's still going strong now, although it's known as the Fexco Asian Games these days, with a lot more professional involvement and a streamlined structure. A far cry from the raggle-taggle, make-it-up-as-you-go-along gig it started out as 23 years ago. And a lot less fun too, I'd imagine :)
But Derek's name still lives on in Asia. The winners of the Asian Games are presented with the Derek Brady Cup, which they get to keep for the year before passing it on to the winning team the following year. There are teams from Africa and the Middle East playing now too, and South Africa were the victors in 2018, in Bangkok. (Venue changes from year to year)
Travel and football were my brother's two greatest passions - even though he was only 22, he'd already visited many different countries, and planned to visit many more. So there's a sweet kind of comfort in knowing that a Gaelic football trophy with Derek's name on it, for his beloved game that he helped introduce to an entire continent, travels from country to country every year, and takes his legacy to all the places he never got to visit himself. Perfect, really. I'm sure he gets a great kick out of that, wherever he is now... 😉