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What should I know about fire and carbon monoxide safety when I travel?

Safety and security are must-haves in any home. We encourage hosts to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in their space, but it’s also important for guests to stay aware and take safety precautions whenever - and however – they travel.

When you book a place on Airbnb, you should review information about whether or not the host has reported smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on the property. You’ll find these details on the listing page under Amenities.

Carbon monoxide detectors aren’t common in many parts of the world, so we suggest purchasing one to bring with you when you travel, especially if the place you’re staying in doesn’t list one. Here’s one example of a portable carbon monoxide detector.

Safety information from the American Red Cross

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odourless, colourless gas created when fuels (such as petrol, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane) burn incompletely. It can be produced by fuel-burning appliances in the home, including boilers, cookers, water heaters, and room heaters – and high levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal. What you can do:

  • Never use a generator, barbecue, camping stove, or other petrol, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, confined space or partially enclosed area.
  • Keep these devices outdoors, away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the home. Although carbon monoxide can't be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to carbon monoxide. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get into fresh air straightaway – do not delay.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms* should be installed in central locations on every floor of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • Batteries should be tested frequently and replaced when needed.
  • If a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or to an open window or exterior door. You should never ignore the carbon monoxide alarm; the gas is deadly and you need to get into fresh air. Call local emergency services for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information.

* In order to communicate with a global audience, Airbnb often uses the terms “alarm” and “detector” interchangeably.

The American Red Cross name, emblem and copyrighted materials are being used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trade mark owned by The American National Red Cross. For more information about the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org.