General Safety Tips

When you rent out your holiday home to guests, you have a duty of care to keep them safe and well during their stay. From cleanliness, to furniture, external features and holiday extras, there is a health and safety element to every part of your holiday home. 

Read on for some helpful tips and tricks to help make your holiday home as safe as possible.


  • Cleaning fluids should be stored out of reach of children, preferably in a lockable cupboard
  • Consider child locks on base unit cupboards and drawers containing sharp implements
  • Remove the lint from tumble dryers as this is a potential fire hazard
  • Glass doors and tables should be fitted with Safety Glass to the current British/European Safety Standards, with glass tables preferably having rounded edges
  • Windows, if easily accessible, should be fitted with opening restrictors
  • All glazing should be free from defects or cracks
  • All blinds should be fitted on a continual loop chain with a chain break connector
  • Stairgates should be provided if the design of the stairs allow
  • Review your stair set up, gaps between the spindles should be less than 10cm
  • A stair handrail should be provided
  • Balconies should be of sound construction and in good condition. If the balcony is not suitable for seating this should be made clear in the marketed property description and clearly stated in the property’s guest information.

Bunk Beds/Cabin Beds

  • Should have the original ladders and be secured to manufacturer’s instructions- these should be fitted to the long side of the bed frame and should not slip
  • The guard rails should extend at least 10cm higher than the top of the mattress and be fitted to all four sides of the bed
  • The mattress should fit the frame of the bed snugly with the no gaps
  • Bunk beds should have slats to support the mattress
  • The spacing between the frame and the bottom of the guard rails should not be greater than 7.5 cm and the distance between the rails no greater than 7cm

Highchairs/Child Booster Seats

  • Should not have wheels
  • Should have a working locking device if the highchair is collapsible
  • A minimum of a three-point harness should be provided
  • There should be an advisory note in the property information folder, that it is the guest’s responsibility to ensure the safety harness is always used and children should not be left unattended at any time
  • Booster seats should have a three-point harness and central post


  • Cot bars should be between 50mm and 95mm apart. Larger gaps have the potential to trap a baby’s head, arms or feet
  • The mattress should fit securely with no gaps between the cot frame and mattress
  • The height from the top of mattress to the top of the cot should be a minimum of 500mm and no more than 600mm

Garden Furniture

  • Garden furniture should be well maintained, clean and in good condition
  • Barbecues need to be sturdy, clean and well maintained
  • Parasols should be well maintained and in good condition- the base should be secure and be appropriate for the parasol height

Outdoor Play Equipment

Providing play equipment for children is a delightful way to entertain whilst on holiday and undoubtedly parents will appreciate the extra facilities on offer. However, they don’t come risk free.

  • Your insurance company needs to be informed if you are providing play equipment to ensure that you are fully covered under your public liability insurance for Furnished Holiday Letting
  • All equipment needs to meet current British/European Standards, be well maintained, serviced regularly and be in good condition
  • The play area should be free from hazards and the location should be suitable for its purpose- ideally it would be enclosed with a fence or wall with a lockable gate, especially if it is serving multiple properties
  • A suitable impact surface should be installed, the type and material would depend on the size of the facility and the number of guests it is serving
  • Ensure that you make your guests aware that children should always be supervised by an adult

Exterior Space/Garage/Special Features

  • Water is a potential hazard, especially for the young- ponds and water features, fenced and unfenced, should be clearly advertised in the marketing information for the property
  • Your insurance company needs to be informed that there is a pond or water feature to enable them to set the correct level of public liability insurance
  • If the property is advertised as fully enclosed, there should be no gaps in fencing or boundary walls- doors and gates should have latches or bolts that ensure they stay shut
  • Lawnmowers, tools and machinery need be locked in a secure area- this also applies to hazardous chemicals, paint, fence and garden treatments, weed killers etc
  • Water, oil and septic tanks should be securely sealed- water butts should have secure lids
  • Greenhouse glass can be a potential hazard if the glass is not toughened- the door should be lockable and the greenhouse positioned away from the main garden area if possible, with all details clearly identified in the property description
  • Pathways, patios, steps and drives should be maintained and regularly reviewed for trip hazards

This article was published on 18-May-22

Disclaimer: At the time of publishing, The Original Cottage Company Limited has taken all reasonable care to ensure that the information contained in this guide is accurate. However, no warranty or representation is given that the information is complete or free from errors or inaccuracies. This guide contains general information about laws applicable to holiday properties. This information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Compliance with legislation is the responsibility of the holiday property owner and The Original Cottage Company Limited assumes no liability in this regard. This guide is not intended to be a definitive statement of the law in England & Wales. If you require precise or more detailed information regarding financial, legal and tax legalisation we recommend you seek professional advice.

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