As the summer season approaches, guests will likely be taking advantage of outdoor amenities and spending more time around the exterior of a property than usual. We want to help you make sure everything is set up to make your rental home safe for the summer. Here are five easy tips to help maintain a safe and high-quality exterior of your rental properties, prevent accidents, reduce liability, and maximize each guest’s experience.
1. Increase Signage Around Hazardous Areas
A short term vacation rental is a hospitality option just like a hotel. At a hotel you would see clear signage around how to use certain amenities, like pools, hot tubs, grills, fire pits, etc. At your rental homes, you should do the same and provide clearly marked signage around each feature. Guests might not be used to using the amenities or appliances at your rental property, so providing clear instructions on proper use can help make sure they are used in a safe way.
2. Increase Outdoor Lighting
Having a well lit exterior can help guests who are not familiar with the rental, navigate safely around the property. Increasing outdoor lighting is a quick and easy way to reduce trips and falls and make your property more safe for renters. Providing a clear path can illuminate any hazards to guests, and also make their movements easier whenever they arrive or are making trips to and from the property.
3. Inspect Your Deck
Anyone can act like a building inspector when it comes to decks. The key to deck safety is to check underneath the, where you should see bolts securing the deck together and to the house. Always look for old and not nails - bolts are what keep your deck to code.
When it comes to securing your deck, it’s important to make sure your stair rails and guardrails around your deck meet the proper requirements based on the deck’s height off of the ground. Knowing what height is to code can be checked with your local municipality or building inspector.
A brief overview of deck codes with Thank For Visiting's, Sarah Karakaian
4. Secure Your Pool or Hot Tub
While these features can be a great selling point for your property, they can also be one of the most hazard prone areas for renters. Property managers should be proactive in securing these areas to help guests use them in the safest way possible.
When it comes to pools, it’s important to follow local safety regulations and make sure your pool area is up to code. A common way to secure a pool is to surround the area with a fence and gate. In addition, hot tubs should have secure, lockable covers that can prevent children from easily climbing in when unattended. And any water recreational areas should have clear and safe access points along with the marking and providence of life-saving safety flotation devices. However, owners and managers should stay away from providing recreational flotation devices. Taking these steps will help reduce accidents, even when you’re not there.
5. Fool-Proof Your Fire Pit and Grill
While fun additions to any home, fire pits and grills are clear fire safety hazards, so it’s important to prepare your guests as much as possible for handling them safely. In addition to keeping instructions for how to use these amenities close by, it’s also important to keep a fire extinguisher close, just as it is to have one near any fire hazards at your property. In addition to a fire extinguisher, at a t a fire pit you should also keep a water bucket out - this way it is available for guests to use to extinguish the fire when they’re done so that no hot coals or embers are left for new guests who might not realize that this was recently used.