Is your Airbnb safe? Study suggests some venues lack basic safety precautions

Is your Airbnb safe? Study suggests some venues lack basic safety precautions
Posted at 1:47 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 09:37:08-04

Airbnb can be a great alternative to using a hotel on vacation, but are they as safe? 

A new analysis shows that some Airbnb's are failing to provide basic fire protection that is legally required for hotels and motels.

While they are not required by law, the research done by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health using InsideAirbnb shows that only 56 percent of Airbnb have carbon monoxide detectors and only 42 percent had fire extinguishers.  

Researchers say they are concerned with these number because they show a lack of national safety standards for services like Airbnb. Hotels and motels are required to post fire escape routes, fire doors, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, fire sprinkler systems, and exit passageways. Airbnb's are not. 

While researchers say they are concerned about these findings, Airbnb says these numbers show that they are above the national average when it comes to carbon monoxide detectors inside homes. 

Also, they say that while safety supplies may not be monitored like they are in hotels, whenever a host signs up to use Airbnb, part of doing so is certifying that they comply with local laws, including having certain safety precautions. They continued to say that when it comes to Carbon Monoxide detectors, there are more states with safety regulations on CO detectors in private homes than hotels. 

Airbnb did send WMAR-2 News the following statement regarding the study, 

“At Airbnb, safety is our priority. All hosts must certify that they follow all local laws and regulations. We run home safety workshops with local fire and EMS services all over the world, making sure our hosts have access to the best information in order to keep their guests, their homes and themselves safe. Every listing on Airbnb clearly states the specific safety amenities it has, including smoke and CO detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits, so guests can look first and then decide whether that home, tree-house, yurt, or igloo is the one they want to book or not. In addition, every home in Airbnb's Plus Collection[] must have a smoke and CO detector in order to even be included. The study itself says it has not undergone any ethical review, it used data from three years before Airbnb Plus even debuted, and it looks to be designed to help an incumbent industry who has its own fire safety issues that need to be addressed."

They also told WMAR-2 News that they believe more work needs to be done across the board throughout the travel and tourism industry to keep people safe.