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Airbnb tries to answer lettings critics by issuing fire guidance

Airbnb, the short lets platform that has received substantial criticism from the buy to let sector over its largely unregulated status, has issued guidance to its UK hosts over fire safety.

In recent months some MPs, the European Commission and parts of the professional lettings industry have criticised Airbnb and similar platforms because hosts do not have to abide by the same plethora of health and safety laws - and other regulations - that apply to professional buy to lets. 

However, Airbnb has now collaborated with the National Fire Chiefs Council to highlight how what it calls its ‘host community’ can make homes safer.

Airbnb has produced a two page guide which has been sent to over 100,000 hosts across the UK setting out steps to make homes safer for guests.  

“The guide builds on Airbnb’s work with the former Chief Fire Officers Association, and brings the guidance up to date with current industry standards” says a statement from the short let platform.

Official statistics from the Home Office show all fire-related incidents – in and out of the home – are on the rise, with a four percent increase in fires attended by services across England last year.  

“At Airbnb, we’re committed to supporting safe hosting and are pleased to have teamed up with the UK’s leading experts to develop guidance for our community and lead our industry on this important issue. Whether it’s taking a minute to test your smoke alarms regularly, or having an escape plan for guests handy, we’re encouraging all of our hosts to follow a few simple steps to make their home even safer” explains Natasha Mytton Mills, public policy manager at Airbnb UK.

Nick Coombe, vice chair of the NFCC protection committee, adds: “NFCC is delighted to see that Airbnb is committed to carrying out a number of initiatives to promote home fire safety. Fire and rescue services are happy to provide support and advice to their communities so we are encouraging hosts to approach their local service for help to ensure homes are safe for families and their guests.”

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