Feb 21st 2014, 20:00, by Ryan Lawler
Over the years, peer-to-peer lodging marketplace Airbnb has been working to increase trust and safety for guests that stay in listings on its platform. That includes verifying the identities of its users, and providing insurance for hosts who make their properties available. Today, it’s taking that a step further, with an initiative that will make emergency safety cards, first aid kits, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available to hosts.
In a blog post today, Trust and Safety head Phil Cardenas announced the new initiative aimed at making Airbnb listings more safe for its guests. The initiative starts with the company providing emergency safety cards and first aid kits to its hosts.
The emergency safety cards will be distributed to all eligible hosts in the U.S. who request one, and will include all the information a guest needs in the case of an emergency. That includes a listing of local emergency services, as well as trusted friends of the hosts who may be able to help in the event of an emergency.
Airbnb is also offering first aid kits to ensure that guests have the tools that they need in the case of an accident during one of their stays. It’s giving away 10,000 of the kits on a first come, first served basis to hosts in the U.S. who request them.
Finally, the company is trying to ensure that guests are safe and aware of fires or possible carbon monoxide poisoning. According to reports, about 60 percent of all North American homes don’t have carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke detectors aren’t always functioning.
To combat those issues, Airbnb will require all hosts to confirm that they have the devices installed in their homes. And for those who don’t already have smoke or CO detectors, Airbnb will be giving them away to eligible hosts in the U.S., and hopes to expand the program elsewhere in the world. (Hosts looking to learn more can go to airbnb.com/home-safety.)
For Airbnb, the giveaways are one way to improve guest stays and to show that its listings are held to a certain minimum safety standard. By doing so, it hopes to win over more users, and hopefully get on the good side of local regulators in the U.S.
Image by David Reber’s Hammer Photography via Compfight under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license