Record wildfire seasons are touching the lives of Hosts and guests globally. It’s more important than ever to have plans in case of wildfire to protect yourself, your guests, and your property.
At Airbnb, we take your safety and the safety of your guests very seriously. As part of our recently launched Trust & Safety Advisory Coalition, we’re partnering with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to share resources about wildfire safety, so you can help keep your property safe and give important info to guests that may be helpful in case of emergency.
Head to the Resource Center to read more, and let us know: How do you communicate with guests about wildfire threats in your community?
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We have removed all candles and replaced with battery operated . . . and remind guests to not leave bbq, fire pits and electric heaters on when unattended.
@Randal-and-Rae0, I also removed real candles after one family left matches on the outside table next to a three year old playing at the table…. I was in the pool area at the time and nearly fainted. It took all my self control to not intervene….
I leave battery operated candles and small torches, plus the matches for the bbq are specifically placed in a ziplock bag up high. This is mentioned on check in.
@Stephanie a host on here not long ago raised this issue with one of her guests . they did not answer or listen to warnings about fire in the area. this could have been catastrophic. Airbnb and the host may only be responsible for the booking and the destination but people lose their lives, most recently during the 'king lake ' fires in Victoria and the fires most recently in southern New south Wales . Many airbnbs were destroyed . They lose their lives during travelling and on the roads .To this end and hopefully to protect people it is very important during fire season for all guests to having 'working mobile phones ' that hosts can contact . wild fires can change tack with a wind change and someone travelling may be safe in the morning but lose their lives in the afternoon.Sometimes travellers must be told not to travel at all . roadblocks occur during major bush fires but more needs to be done to prevent deaths. Once upon a time home owners were encouraged to 'prepare their homes for fire and stay and fight' this is no longer the case and airbnb owners need to cancel guests via phone calls as soon as possible and to leave themselves .A gust may turn up from one direction where fire is and the host may have a good escape route but the guest not . H
@Helen744 , all obvious disasters should be covered in either your description listing, or mention that you have a specific course of action required during these rare emergency events, that must be followed. Hosts globally need to cover themselves, not just for peace of mind and general understanding, but to also avoid having the reckless, clueless or defiant guest who wants to sightsee or storm chase during an emergency.
For general domestic emergencies, your individualised safety card should cover the basic information.
Bushfires are not something I specifically have to deal with, but I have information on electrical strikes/ storms and what should be done, if a storm is approaching etc. I recommend they activate a 30-30 rule for lightening, especially with swimming pool use etc. For most guests may never have been out touring in a place with high seasonal lightening (which also causes bushfires).
I also have a property specific Cyclone Management Plan. I mention a basic paragraph in my listing, but have a hard copy that I can place in the space during Cyclone season and if the weather was concerning it would be documented on the AIrbnb Message-board and electronically sent to them, or excerpts as required.
For me, if the guest is on site and DOES NOT follow the required instructions, then their booking will be cancelled and they are no longer a guest, as we the hosts, are deemed the emergency controllers of the property. (as applied to other emergency wardens)
We also quite specifically state that “during any upgrading of the emergency in our area” that if the guests leave the property without notifying us, they will be deemed as having checked out, and will be responsible for their own safety. They also need to supply their own personal items for a survival kit, which I can help them with... (This is however different from us providing some camping gear including emergency lighting if power outages were to occur under normal circumstances.)
I do not know if 'bush fire ' warning , not to travel or to 'seek shelter or evacuation orders , which can change on a dime, needs a different policy but I suspect it does . Something like credits for another time or transference more promptly to something in the area a guest currently would find themselves .Evacuation Centres feature heavily during bush fires in Australia as temporary accomodation . Under no circumstances should something like this be commercialised , nor could it be , because of the volatile nature of fire and the fact many of these are public buildings.Many Airbnbs in Australia are in 'the bush ' as we call it and the recent evacuations from Eden shows that all roads in and out were closed to these people . holidaying in the bush , by fire .Luckily for them there was some coastline . Many people were evacuated from the beach at Eden by ship eventually . Floods are another issue which can happen to travellers who think they are going from one Airbnb to another .the northern rivers flooding has been tremendous. I travelled between what turned out to be a three pronged flooding issue by car from ballarat to brisbane for the birth of my first grandson, hoping to have a relaxing journey and turning up on due date and camping out on the way . good grief , that was a mistake . I became a little suspicious as I travelled along about how the grass was swathed around the roads and some abandoned cars appeared to be horizontally attached to these grass walls. the camp ground was under water , so we stayed in little motel cabins , with giant cockroahes , which only appeared at night . If you quickly turned the light on they could be seen advancing on you.there was no rain , note well , no rain ,. I thought as I saw the roads peeled back , leaving rough gravel that the floods were past. The service stations were closed because the electricity was shut off during floods . It was super important to keep filling the car even if just a little to make sure you were not stranded for hours waiting for a petrol station to have electricity . the hours between little towns and the long stretches of road became a nightmare . the boats resting on tree stumps became a warning , but still no rain. We were also crossing time zones and darkness started to fall earlier , who knew ?, not me. we arrived in a little town and we were suddenly surrounded by water with no way to continue . Our Gps said we could but the police station officers told us we could just stay in their town , with no more petrol deliveries, for New year and enjoy the Bull riding .My grandee was born New years day and grandma was on her way .We did something which everyone in Brisbane has tatooed across their hearts , ' Do not drive into flood water' we found our gps and followed a ute into the originally, small amount of water crossing the road .we went on for miles . the water got deeper and we were surrounde by trees , small trees .eventually there was a gate and the farmer stopped , We were surrounded by paddocks of water , that moved in a sinister way . we asked the farmer if we could get thru up the valley to brisbane . Go back he said , go back .so back we went and camped in a sodden caravan next to a leveee bank . we went to look at the levee and saw that the water was not too high so were reassured. It still was not raining and we then learnt something we had never heard before. Rivers travel.This was accompanied by the rather unsettling news that a very large amount of water was due to come down that river overnight and the aboriginal town we had just passed through would be flooded but we would be okay..... Anyway sorry to bore you all but it got worse before it got better . My grandson is called Gulliver
@Stephanie the topic of Helping prepare your space and guests for wildfires is relevant to us in Australia but we call them bush fires. They can happen anywhere anytime in rural areas. The fires can spread rapidly to the edge of the cities in all the states.
It has been recognised that bush fires are influenced climate change with hotter temperatures, drier vegetation, longer fire seasons and warmer climates causes more frequent lightning strikes to start fires.
Last year the NSW Government introduced registration for STRA and one of the rules was for hosts to provide an emergency folder with information for bushfires, floods and cyclones and be displayed.
For bush fire it was to provide Alert levels for bush fire and websites, battery radio with FM, AM radio stations information and smartphones Apps, and torches.
Guidelines in the article “How to prepare you’re your space and guests for wildfires. “Are like what we have been advised by the NSW Rural Fire Service. However, having to deal with guest during bushfires will be your location. As, a host I would already have my alerts out taking in the information for bush fire warnings in my area.
From past experiences, warnings would have been given for tourists to leave the area well in advance.
Because we live onsite, we would be conversing with our guests keeping them updated with the latest information. At the same time making sure that we have our firefighting equipment ready and the property is in lock down. Explaining to guests that we would be informed by the Police and Fire Brigade to leave and go to the designated safe area.
If there were future bookings, I am sure the guests would cancel because of news of fires in certain areas, roads would be closed but I would have contacted them well in advance with this information. So that they can cancel, as I have 24 hrs flexible cancellation policy.
The last close call with bushfires was 2 years ago, 6 months before we started our Airbnb and they are warning us already in winter that we may experience bushfires in our area this summer.