Safety vs. Security at Vacation Rentals

Justin Ford
Justin Ford

October 22, 2019

Safety and security go hand in hand. There is a lot of overlap between the two, and many times, they can be seen as one and the same. However, in the vacation rental industry, it’s important to understand, recognize, and treat these two topics differently. This blog post will break down the differences between vacation rental safety and security, and the unique measures that need to be taken to ensure guests have a positive experience at your property. That said, what different things can you do to mitigate the security and safety risks for your guests?

Vacation Rental Security

  • Door & window locks: The first precaution a property manager or host can take is ensuring all doors and window locks are functional. This seems like an obvious one, and is a true non-negotiable expectation for guests.
  • Keyless entry mechanisms: Implement a keyless entry mechanism can greatly improve the security of your property. Keyless entry eliminates the chances of guests losing/keeping keys, or guests leaving the property unlocked if there are not enough keys for a large group going in and out of the property. In the event that a code for keyless entry is forgotten or compromised, the manager can easily rectify the situation remotely.
  • Security camera systems: If managers have any outdoor security cameras (yard or front door), be proactive and let the guests know. Sometimes guests can see this as an invasion of privacy, however this is another level of security for them. Managers being transparent about this with guests will make them feel more comfortable and will show that you are taking extra measures to ensure their security.
  • Location of the property: Be aware of the reputation within the property's location, and take necessary steps to inform guests of the activities and locations they should avoid.  

Vacation Rental Safety:

  • General safety inspection: Performing regular safety inspections is the best way to detect what aspects of your property need attention. We recommend consulting a vacation rental safety expert or a local municipality regarding how to implement comprehensive safety programs across your vacation rental portfolio. 
  • Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors: Make sure there are smoke and CO detectors in the property, and test them accordingly. Check before each arrival that guests did not remove batteries from smoke detectors after a cooking related false alarm. 
  • First aid kits & fire extinguishers: A fire extinguisher should be mounted to the wall in a central and easily accessible location. The property should also be stocked with a first aid kit and card with general safety information, in the case emergency assistance is needed. 
  • Tripping hazards: Trips and falls are very common in vacation rentals, and can be avoided by double checking carpet placement, walkways, and providing the proper outdoor lighting. We also recommend making sure that any large objects (TVs, dressers, mirrors) are secured to walls and floors.

Awareness surrounding both security and safety precautions will ensure a seamless stay for your guests, and peace of mind for managers and homeowners. Today’s guests are looking for more authentic properties and deeper service, and ensuring their safety and security falls under this expectation. Moreover, managers can use safety information (when the home was last inspected, what safety regulations it adheres to, etc.) to market their listings. Not only will marketing safe properties help differentiate your listing during booking, you will also increase the quality of your guest's experience.