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11 Vacation Rental Safety Tips Property Managers & Owners Need To Know

vacation rental safety Dec 11, 2023

In a world that sometimes seems more dangerous with each passing day, the last thing anyone wants to worry about on vacation is their own safety. And they shouldn’t have to, especially when booking with you. As a vacation rental property management company or owner, the safety of your guests is your top priority.

At SaferVRS, our mission is to help you be proactive about the safety of your guests and eliminate issues before they become a problem. Our consulting and membership services help you improve upon the loss and safety prevention practices you have in place, protecting both your guests and your investment.

To get you started, we’ve shared our best safety tips, including all the preventative safety measures and controls you need to put in place to confirm your guests can have peace of mind during their stay at your property.


1. Conduct Regular Safety Audits

The very first thing you should do as a vacation rental owner is schedule regular safety checkups. You should start by checking all fire safety devices, including making sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly. You should also routinely check to make sure fire extinguishers are easily accessible and not expired.

Scan your property for potential hazards and address potential problems. Check to make sure the railings on your property are sturdy and not loose. Look over your property for anything that may be a potential trip hazard for renters. Inspect wiring to make sure it is not faulty, and consider other ways guests could be potentially injured on your property, like encountering surfaces that are prone to becoming slippery.


2. Communicate Clear Safety Guidelines & Rules

Upon arrival, guests should be able to quickly locate a comprehensive safety manual. A central location, like the kitchen counter or fridge, will ensure it’s easily accessible to visitors. Creating a digital guide that you share with guests before arriving is ideal so they can access the information anywhere.

This guide should include emergency contact information for you, your property management company, and all local emergency authorities. It should also detail the location of fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flashlights, and other necessities.

Additionally, it would be helpful to list your rules for the property within this guide. Clearly communicate your expectations about the use of the rental and any included amenities like a pool, hot tub or barbecue grills.


3. Provide Secure Locks and Entry Systems

Ensuring your property is properly secured is an essential step against preventing theft and unauthorized access. Be sure to invest in high-quality locks and secure entry systems. You’ll want to install deadbolts, bar locks, and latches on doors and windows to ensure all access points are secure. Consider installing a safe in your rental where guests can store their valuables.

You should also consider installing smart locks that allow for keyless entry and can be reset between guests. To maintain the strictest security, be sure to change access codes regularly.


4. Perform Regular Maintenance Checks

The most common accidents in vacation rental homes are easily preventable. Be sure to schedule regular maintenance checks for all utilities and amenities to ensure they are working properly. As an extra precaution, double-check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms one more time during maintenance checks.

You should be regularly checking electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems to make sure they are in good condition and operating optimally. If your property has a pool, hot tub, or other recreational outdoor equipment, you should inspect it with each cleaning.


5. Have an Emergency Plan

The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to have a plan. You should create an emergency plan for all types of different scenarios, including fire, natural disasters, or medical emergencies. What to do in the event one of these situations occurs should be clearly communicated to your guests.

It’s also important to include a contingency plan for interruptions in services like water, gas, or electricity. Be sure your guests are aware of the location of relevant supplies like flashlights and heaters.


6. Be Sure you have Adequate Vacation Rental Insurance Coverage

Consult with an insurance agent to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for your rental property. Often the standard homeowner’s coverage excludes rental activities.

Taking the time to investigate your options for both liability insurance and property damage coverage is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your property!


7. Install Security Lighting & Security Cameras

The more safety features you have installed on your property, the better you can feel about providing your guests with the safest stay possible.

All pathways and entrances should be well lit to prevent any accidental tumbles and falls. Motion-sensitive flood lights can prove useful in providing an energy-efficient alternative to lights that must be switched on and off.

You may also want to consider installing security cameras outdoors for added security. However, always ensure guests are informed about their presence and be sure to respect their privacy during their stay.


8. Protect the Privacy of your Guests

Guests aren’t just concerned about their physical safety these days. You need to ensure your tenants virtual privacy is protected as well. In addition to providing electronic safeguards to protect your property, consider virtual safeguards to protect your guests.

Never post the physical address of your property on booking platforms like VRBO or Airbnb, and refrain from sharing it on social media. Only share this information with guests after booking. Additionally, be sure to communicate your privacy policy with guests, including how their information is stored and shared. Ideally, dispose of unnecessary guest information after their stay.


9. Use Rigorous Cleaning Protocols

Since the recent pandemic, more and more focus has been placed on properly cleaning and sanitizing rental properties. It’s important that all rooms and shared areas of your property are always properly cleaned and sanitized after each guest's stay.

Be sure that your cleaning staff is trained in safety cleaning protocols that follow the guidelines of the WHO, CDC, and FDA. Regularly follow up with them to ensure they are compliant with these regulations.


10. Childproof your Property

If you’re planning on hosting families with little ones, childproofing your vacation rental is a necessity.

Take the time to ensure your entire property is child proof, including outdoor areas. Keep cleaning products, fragile items, and dangerous items like knives and matches in a secure place to ensure children are not able to access them. Consider Smart water sensors to regulate water temperature and anchor down any furniture that could tip and fall on a child.


11. Ensure your Legal Compliance and Keep Detailed Records

While guest safety is the utmost importance, it’s also important to remember to protect yourself as a property owner. Be sure you are familiar with all local laws and regulations governing vacation rental properties.

You also should ensure you are in compliance with zoning laws, occupancy restrictions, tax requirements, and fire and life safety codes. Keep detailed records of your legal compliance as well as all maintenance, repairs, and safety checks performed on the vacation rental home. Be sure to also keep a record of all communication with guests. This important documentation can be crucial in the event of disputes or claims.


Protect your Guests and Protect your Investment

These tips are a great starting point, and only that. To ensure the safety of both your guests and your investment, let us help you be proactive in protecting you and your property. Contact us today to find out more about our services and the methods we teach to help you create and maintain a safe and profitable vacation rental business.

Safer VR offers a full range of courses and guides to ensure the safety of your investment and your guests. Check our online courses, coaching, and consultation services today!


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Don’t rely on copy and paste answers. Your properties and guests deserve personalized attention to ensure your going above and beyond in your safety measures. In this call, we’ll discuss your concerns, establish solutions, and learn how you can mitigate risks.

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