Getting ready for a fall getaway? Short-term rental homes can be a great, affordable option for lodging. However, these homes are not subject to the same fire code laws as hotels or other commercial lodging facilities. This makes it important for you, the renter, to be proactive and take fire safety matters into your own hands and ask these five questions before you book your next short-term rental.

Does this property have carbon monoxide detectors installed?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that is colorless, odorless, and undetectable by humans without the assistance of a carbon monoxide detector. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, you’ll want to make sure there are CO alarms installed on every level of the home, in central locations outside each sleeping area.

Are there working smoke detectors installed outside of every sleep area?

Ideally, smoke detectors be located on every level, inside every bedroom, and in a central location outside of each sleeping area. It’s important to be able to “hear the beep where you sleep,” as half of home fire deaths occur between 11 pm and 7 am, when most people are sleeping.

Do you have an evacuation plan in place for your short term rental?

Some popular platforms encourage short-term rental property owners to have an evacuation plan in place that is included in the house manual. Ideally, this will list two ways to exit every room. If the property owner does not have an evacuation plan in place, it will be good to come up with one upon arrival. You should also declare a meeting point that is a safe distance from the house, should an evacuation be required.

Where are the portable fire extinguishers located?

Though fire extinguishers are not required in single-family dwellings or short-term rentals, there should be one on each level of the rental home, and most importantly, in the kitchen. If your short-term rental host does not provide fire extinguishers, it’s advisable to bring one along with you when possible.

What safety protocols are in place for the outdoor fire pit?

If your short-term rental offers the use of a fire pit, it’s important to be ready to use it responsibly. Find out whether you should use water, sand/dirt, or an extinguisher to put out the fire. Never leave the fire unattended, and ensure it is fully extinguished before heading inside for the night.  It’s also important to ask the owner if the community your rental is in issues burn bans and where to find out whether or not a burn ban is in effect.

Fire Systems, Inc.

Atlanta-based Fire Systems, Inc. has been in the business of fire protection since 1987. Our highly trained technicians can design, install, inspect, and repair any aspect of a fire protection system. Our software will keep track of all inspection deadlines to help maintain compliance with local codes and laws. Give us a call at 770-333-7979 or visit our website for more information.