Airbnb calls for better fire safety regulations

Smoke alarm.
Warning to travellers over fire safety. Photo credit: Getty Images.

A survey of Airbnb properties in the United States has revealed the importance of fire safety awareness in the peer-to-peer accomodation market.

More than 120,500 rentals in 16 cities were surveyed by the Injury Prevention journal.

Most listings are private homes, so national fire safety requirements don't apply.

Airbnb continues to grow and is the world's leading online hospitality service.

It has listings for over four million venues in 191 countries.

Although Airbnb has encouraged property owners using the site to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, it isn't compulsory.

There were more than one million fires in the United States in 2015, claiming the lives of 2500 people. Most of these fires were in residential buildings. 

Researchers used the website, who call themselves 'mission driven activists.' The website searches for public information about Airbnb listings. 

Eighty percent of the houses surveyed had smoke alarms, just over half had carbon monoxide alarms and less than a third had fire extinguishers. 

The Injury Prevention journal said while the smoke alarm results are good, the results are substantially lower across the board than what is required of hotels.

A spokesperson for Airbnb told Newshub they hold workshops and educate home owners about fire safety, and say more work needs to be done across the entire travel and tourism industry . The company said they have reached out to the authors of the survey in an attempt to work with them to increase fire safety across the board.