Airbnb launches smoke alarm campaign following Christchurch fire
Airbnb has launched a campaign encouraging hosts to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the wake of a fire that gutted a Christchurch home rented through the accommodation website.
Six members of a Malaysian family of 10 were admitted to hospital suffering from burns and smoke inhalation after escaping a fire in the three-storey Sumner house in Clifton Tce on Sunday night.
An Airbnb spokesman said it would make detectors available "free" to the the first 36,000 hosts who applied on a first-come-first-served basis, but a website link to terms and conditions made it clear the cost of the alarms would be deducted from future host payments..
Listings showed whether properties had detectors but Airbnb said it did not require confirmation they had been installed, and the offer to "facilitate" purchase of the safety equipment expired at the end of December.
"Our review system lets guests see what previous travellers have thought of the home and if any concerns are raised we take action to suspend the listing and investigate," Airbnb said.
The Clifton Tce house had functioning smoke alarms and fire investigators were treating the blaze as accidental.
Bachcare founder Leslie Preston said last year's fire at a Queenstown Airbnb property caused by visitors' incorrect disposal of ashes had led her holiday home managers to provide more detailed information on how to do it safely.
Meanwhile, the Christchurch City Council confirmed it took action in March over another Sumner Airbnb property following a complaint it was offering backpacker accommodation without the necessary resource consent.
The Marriner Street house – no longer listed on Airbnb – advertised accommodation in a six-bed dorm, and the operator told a reporter that guests paid to pitch tents and park campervans on the property.
The council said it issued an abatement notice because the activities contravened the district plan.
- Stuff Nation