Safe Outdoor Spaces and Minimizing the Risk of Liability Claims
Providing some outdoor space can really add value to your vacation rental offering. However, they can also add some risk in terms of guests hurting themselves and for which you can be held liable. We have discussed liability insurance already on the blog. Read it here!
Consider the example of someone using the swing in your garden. Imagine the swing’s seat comes loose, the person falls and breaks their arm. You can now be held liable for this and the bodily injury they incured and if you do not have the right insurance this can be costly – costly enough to ruin your business. Therefore, it is firstly important to have appropriate liability insurance which covers you as a short-term rental host and secondly to do everything in your power to make sure your property is safe. With the help of Steve Watt, Chairman of CertiStay’s Safety & Security Committee, we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to keep your outdoor spaces safe for your guests. Read on to learn more…
Pools and Hot Tubs
- Fencing off pools and hot tubs prevents unauthorized use and can increase child safety.
- Ensure all doorways/gates accessing a pool or hot tub are lockable, preventing unintended access by children.
- Small children should only use the pool and tub with adult supervision.
- Ensure all pool components, slides and other accessories are in working order and/or safe to use.
- Make sure the water is tested regularly and that chemicals are safely stored.
- Non-slip decking can reduce the risk of injury.
- Young children accessing the waterfront should be under adult supervision.
- Ensure all water based equipment is in working order (canoe, kayak, power boat, etc.) and that personnel flotation devices are available, as required.
- Provide guidance and directions for use of water borne equipment.
Grills and BBQs
- Ensure that outdoor cooking appliances are safe to use, clean and in working order.
- Fuel/propane tanks should be full and ready for use with spare tanks available for guest use.
- Provide guidelines for use of grills and BBQs.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby in the event of accidental fire.
Balconies, Decks and Patios
- All access to balconies, decks and patios should be lockable.
- Ensure all balconies, decks and patios are in good order and safe to use.
- Perimeter alarms can deter unintended guests or indicate when a guest enters the balcony, deck or patio from the residence.
- Installing a non-slip surface can increase safety during and after wet weather.
- All outdoor furniture must be in good condition and safe to use.
Gardens and Natural Outdoor Space
- Make sure the outdoor space is safe for guest use.
- Provide warning signs for any dangerous areas or poisonous plants or remove the latter, if practical.
- Stairways should be non-slip and those over three steps should include a handrail.
- Any playground equipment (swings, slides, etc.) should be checked on a regular basis and safe to use.
- Installing alarms and outdoor cameras can provide guests can provide guests with a more secure vacation experience. However, if you do have cameras installed, make guests aware of where they are located. Read more about ensuring security of your vacation rental here.
Rather have the experts check whether your property is safe and secure? Contact CertiStay today.