Holiday Safety Tips for Your STR (Episode 305)

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[00:00:00] Sarah: Hello listeners. Welcome back for another great episode and happy Thanksgiving. My name is Sarah Karakain. 

[00:00:05] Annette: I’m Annette Grant, and together we are—

[00:00:07] Both Sarah & Annette: Thanks for Visiting. 

[00:00:08] Annette: Let’s kick off this episode like we do every week, and it’s sharing one of you, our listeners, who’s using our hashtag, #STRShareSunday. We’ll share you on Instagram on Sundays– get it– and also to our entire email list here on the podcast, and we’re going to mix it up and do a little something special for Thanksgiving today. 

[00:00:24] Sarah: Yes, so today we are highlighting– we’re actually going to highlight two things and we’re going to give you an opportunity to be a super STR share. So we are highlighting @stayJ&K, and it is Kelsey and Joseph. They stood last year to earn thousands of dollars from renting out their vacation rental during Super Bowl weekend in February in Phoenix, Arizona. 

And instead the couple donated two nights at their home to a terminal cancer patient whose dream was to see the final game of the season. And you ask, how did they make this happen? They made this happen by partnering with our friends at the Dream Foundation. And the Dream Foundation, that is their goal. 

They work with terminally ill adults to grant them their final wish. So think of make a wish, but it is for adults and it is the Dream Foundation. We would love for you to sign up to donate your home. And listen, don’t count yourself out. It doesn’t matter where you are. People have dreams all around the country and for different size events. 

So you can do two things. You can either donate your property, and then also if you’d like, you can donate financially. But please go to the show notes and put your home in their directory. We would be so thankful. I think it’d be a wonderful thing as we wrap up this amazing year and head into the holiday season. 

And if we can all give back, we would love for you to drop them a line. Let them know that Thanks for Visiting sent you. And Stay J&K, thank you for being amazing listeners and donating your home for someone’s dream. 

[00:02:02] Annette: I love that. Nice work y’all. In the spirit of Thanks for Visiting or Thanksgiving– I can’t say Thanksgiving and Thanks for Visiting without mixing the two.

[00:02:11] Sarah: It’s okay. You’re like my mom. My mom says, how is Thanksgiving? And I’m like, might you mean Thanks for Visiting, mom? But we love mom. We’re thankful for moms. We love you, Mary Jane. 

[00:02:21] Annette: And we’re thankful for you listeners who make this podcast a reality by you tuning in each week and downloading our podcast and following it. That allows us to be able to bring content to you every week. So just thank you for your time. Thanks for your attention. We know that it’s pulled your ears. 

[00:02:39] Sarah: And your attention. 

[00:02:41] Annette: And in honor of Thanksgiving, we are going to share this episode with an episode we did last year. But before you press pause or say, I’ve already listened to it, it’s our good, good friend, Justin Ford from Breezeway, our international safety expert going over holiday safety. So obviously today is a holiday, but we’re going to be gearing up for just a lot of holiday stays. Obviously not just the big one, which is, for a lot of people in the US, December 25th. 

But there’s people coming to town to celebrate all sorts of different religious holidays, all sorts of family gatherings. And so from today to New Year’s Day, really dial in your short term rental. Make sure you’re safe for this time of the year and these types of reservations. And so Justin’s going to go over everything with us here today. Plus if you head to, which is today’s episode, we have that safety checklist for you that you can download or just head to the show notes. That link will be there as well for you. But without further ado, let’s revisit the episode from last year all about dialing in our holiday safety. We have a lovely guest today–

[00:03:50] Sarah: Justin Ford. And safety is the most important conversation we can ever have on this podcast, which is why we welcome him back again and again. He is an international safety expert. He goes all over the world talking about how to keep our assets safe, how to keep our guests safe.

[00:04:05] Annette: Justin, we have an important topic today–

[00:04:07] Sarah: And a world premiere topic you said.

Justin Ford: [00:04:34] Yes. I don’t know that anybody’s ever done this before. This is going to be really exciting. We’re going to talk about holiday safety and I’m super excited because even if you don’t have a rental property, which maybe you’re thinking about getting one, this applies to everybody. There’s going to be so much for everyone to think about here. So this is going to be awesome.

Annette Grant: [00:04:53] Seriously, I’ve never put cones on the roof for Santa Claus. So I got to figure out how to make it safer for Santa Claus to land on the roof and come down the chimney.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:05:01] Something’s going to tell me that Justin does not approve of that. So, Justin, kick us off.

Justin Ford: [00:05:05] No.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:05:07] So what are you seeing short-term rental hosts do for the holidays and how can they be more safe as they welcome the holidays into their rental?

Annette Grant: [00:05:15] What is holiday safety?

Justin Ford: [00:05:17] What is holiday safety?

Annette Grant: [00:05:18] Easy on the eggnog.

Justin Ford: [00:05:20] Easy on the eggnog. We’re going to get into that. It’s crazy because there’s so many different aspects to cover on this. And we’ll just start off with the big strong gloom and doom that 50% of all deaths and fires in rental properties occur between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s horrible. That one month roughly between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the deadliest time of year in the short-term rental. So if that isn’t enough to wake you up and make you want to tune in to find out how that’s happening or why it’s happening, then I don’t know where we go from there.

Annette Grant: [00:05:58] All right. Tell us why. Obviously, there’s higher occupancy, so that can lend to it.

Justin Ford: [00:06:04] There is. And I think one of the things to consider is everyone’s upping their game now. I was just looking online and we’re recording this right around Halloween and people are decorating and trying to make their Airbnb the scariest possible Airbnb. And I’m like looking, seeing windows blocked with decorations that I’m just going, oh my gosh. But the same thing is happening now, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

People more than ever want to rent a vacation home for Thanksgiving or Christmas to gather all the family together. Let’s get as many people together. We look back in the history. There’s been a couple of big, notable events just in the past couple of years. Jimmy Kimmel posted when he rented a vacation home that he had trouble with the gas grill. And if you look, he’s got pictures of all his faces all singed. He burned all the hair off– his beard and his eyebrows because he couldn’t figure out how to light the gas grill.

And, of course, the famous Anna Faris carbon monoxide scare when she rented a Lake Tahoe Airbnb during Thanksgiving in 2019. And several of the people in her family were rushed to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. So just even on these notable events that have been out there, it hasn’t been a good time of year when it comes to safety.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:07:20] Okay, well, tell us how we can prevent issues from happening in our rentals during this time.

Justin Ford: [00:07:26] Exactly. So let’s cover the deadliest one, and that is fire. Number one cause for fire in a short-term rental is in the kitchen. And on the tended appliances in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and at Christmas is the number one cause for a fire. 

And it’s really interesting to take a look and find that all of the time these unattended cooking fires are happening really relates also around alcohol use. And what happens at the holidays? Well, everybody’s having a couple of drinks here and there and they’re just not paying attention. So it’s really, really important.

And I’ve got some stuff. We’re going to share this so that all your listeners can download this afterwards. I actually have a recommended email or communication you send to your guests before they come stay with you, as well as a customizable safety notice that they can put to draw attention to this on their kitchen counter or something like that that says, hey, this is a busy time of year for accidents and here are some ways that you can prevent them.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:08:31] So we just share the stat with our guests that we tell them this is the most likely time where accidents can happen. So we want to help you, help us keep you and the property safe, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Justin Ford: [00:08:45] Exactly. Basically, something to the effect that, hey, kitchen fire is the number one cause of fires at rentals like ours during the holidays. Cook sober, please. Hot food, boiling water, sharp knives make the kitchen particularly hazardous. We want to highlight food poisoning. More food poisoning happens on Thanksgiving than any time of the year. You girls ever cooked the turkey?

Sarah Karakaian: [00:09:07] No.

Annette Grant: [00:09:08] No. And we don’t want to. Not a plan either.

Justin Ford: [00:09:13] When do you put the stuffing in and at what temperature does the turkey come out? I know I’m going a little Martha Stewart here, but the turkey is supposed to be 165. And that makes sure that people aren’t getting food poisoning. And it’s nice to suggest that because people don’t think about that. They put the stuffing in there too early. You get that salmonella from the turkey in there. So that’s kind of a big one.

Annette Grant: [00:09:34] So are we suggesting that we put a thermometer, a turkey thermometer in our homes? They can’t be that expensive, right? A nice amenity to add.

Justin Ford: [00:09:44] They’re not. And I like that. That’s a great idea. I hadn’t even thought of that one. But that’s an awesome idea, too.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:09:50] You’ve heard it here first, folks. And then, of course, maybe a little clear plastic sign that you can put near the food prep area just like a fun turkey tip or something like that where you can help your guests not make that mistake.

Annette Grant: [00:10:04] Especially people that are having–

Justin Ford: [00:10:05] And that’s what I’m thinking.

Annette Grant: [00:10:06] their Friendsgiving and it’s the first time they’ve cooked a turkey together. Hopefully, they’re going on YouTube and getting some good advice. Did I just say go to YouTube to get good advice? That’s probably questionable. All right.

Justin Ford: [00:10:18] We always talk about the fire extinguisher. We actually even had a little– I told you so recently, you guys did an incredible post showing about placement of the fire extinguisher back earlier in September. And then I did it. And then a week later, this big news story came out where there was a fire in a kitchen and everyone was blaming the guests because the kitchen burned down and it’s done thousands of dollars worth of damage and it’s because their fire extinguisher was in the pantry back behind the stove. The renters couldn’t get to it.  

So never is there a better time of year to get that fire extinguisher out in the open and make sure the renters are aware of where it is than at Thanksgiving and Christmas because that’s when the most fires happen in the kitchen.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:11:08] And so, listeners, what I want you to understand is if there’s a fire, it’s most often at the oven or stovetop. So if the guest has to go through the fire or close the fire to get the fire extinguisher, that’s not good.

Annette Grant: [00:11:19] Or where I used to put it, underneath the sink in the very back. They’re not going to dig underneath your sink to get to move all your cleaning supplies, which shouldn’t be underneath the sink, move your trash can to get back to that. So that was an error there.

But I think this is a takeaway our listeners can do today is get that adhered to the wall somewhere close to your kitchen so that it’s at arm’s length. They can just pull it off there. But, Justin, this is a simple thing too is for people just to put emergency contact on their refrigerator. So if something does happen, everyone in the house, because if it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, you’re probably not traveling alone, and other people need to know the address of where you’re staying. Where do you think that should be placed for the guests? Because if it’s in the kitchen and there’s a kitchen fire and it’s on the refrigerator, or should it be in multiple places?

Justin Ford: [00:12:07] I like multiple places. The kitchen refrigerator is a great place. By the main entry door is a great place. I’m a huge fan of posting a small amount of safety information on bathroom mirrors too. Everyone goes in to brush their teeth, take their makeup off, and it’s a great place just to put a quick reminder of some urgency information.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:12:25] Okay, Justin, what are other holiday mishaps?

Justin Ford: [00:12:29] So let’s step back to the beginning a little bit. And that is the travel time. 375 people are going to die on US roads this holiday season. We know that. That’s terrible. It’s just getting there. And if you think about it, half of the vacation is the planning. And so people are tired, they’re exhausted.  

One of the things that the National Safety Council just highlighted is that because people are racing around in grocery stores doing all this crazy stuff beforehand, they’re tired, they come into these properties. This is where the cooking errors happen. But this is also where slips, trips, and falls happen. There’s just so much going on, stress build-up to the holidays.  

Not only is it a great opportunity for hosts that are having guests come stay to offer grocery provisioning services, take that load off of the renters and say, let us help you and make a little extra money doing that, but it’s going to set the renters up that maybe they’re a little bit more rested and they’re going to pay a little bit better attention once they get into the properties.

Annette Grant: [00:13:29] That’s a great idea. I like that.

Justin Ford: [00:13:32] So cooking– all the type, sharpening your knives is really important. We always say this and this is where people get injured, but they’re doing a lot of cooking and chopping. And again, they’re having some glasses of wine while they’re cooking. So making sure your knives are sharp, making sure all the appliances are in good order.  

I just saw a terrible accident recently with an egg beater, of all things. You don’t even want to know what happened there, but making sure all your small appliances are all in good working order because these kitchens are going to get used scarred during the holidays.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:14:06] Justin, how do you feel about candles? Maybe I know how you feel about them, but let’s talk about them real quick because I feel like now’s a great time for hosts who aren’t aware of the dangers around candles to bring them out.

Annette Grant: [00:14:19] We just have the hosts that still have them because they love–

Sarah Karakaian: [00:14:20] The ambiance.

Justin Ford: [00:14:22] Yeah. And I actually would recommend putting that even in that welcome letter that we were talking about as you’re preparing and thinking about the holidays, just basically saying, hey, look, we don’t provide flame-burning candles in our rental. Please don’t bring any. You’ve got to use the LED candles only. There’s too much hazard there.  

Even the National Candle Makers Association has said do not leave candles unattended. And so it’s really important to understand that you can’t trust that your renters aren’t going to do that. And since you can’t do that, get them out of the property and switch to LED only. There’s so many different choices now with LED. You can do all these different colors. If it’s for Hanukkah, you can do the LED candles and on the menorah and all that stuff. So it’s really just the best way to go now.

Annette Grant: [00:15:16] Okay, what about the fireplace? Because that’s going to get heavy use. I know we talk about the fireplace a lot, but what’s something that people can do today before guests start checking in for the holidays?

Justin Ford: [00:15:27] Well, it’s really important to make sure you’re getting your fireplaces checked and cleaned. If you haven’t done that already for the winter season and then you’re in an area where that is– as soon as this podcast is over, you need to call and schedule a service appointment. And if you have not had your gas fireplace serviced in the past year, that needs to happen.  

That’s what happened with the Anna Faris accident. There was a malfunctioning gas fireplace. It hadn’t been serviced in three years and sure enough, there was carbon monoxide leaking at six times the recommended amount into the rental property on ruining their Thanksgiving holiday.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:16:07] Justin, do our listeners, do they call a plumbing company to do that, or who is the person to call to get those checked?

Justin Ford: [00:16:13] Yeah. So if you have a gas fireplace, there are several companies in your market that will definitely do that you want to call. It’s best to try and call maybe the company that installed it, to begin with. It’s always good to have them keep coming back. And if you can’t find that, then definitely call your gas provider and see who they recommend to come in and do it. But there’s a lot of different components inside of those gas fireplaces that can fail and cause an issue. And you got to get those checked out on an annual basis.

Annette Grant: [00:16:46] Justin, and this is one thing when Sarah and I have been with you going through a home before, that blew my mind because I didn’t know this was possible. Obviously, there’s probably going to be a lot of people in these homes. The water might get a little colder faster because there’s a lot of people using the water and maybe there’s someone in the home that thinks they can tamper with the hot water tank and help everybody with this hot water. Talk to us. You blew my mind. I didn’t know people could mess with that and it could be dangerous. Can you talk to us about that and how we could protect ourselves?

Justin Ford: [00:17:17] Yeah. So typically, let’s say, for example, you’re building a three-bedroom home and that’s a residential home, and that’s where you’re planning to live with you and your wife and your three kids, whatever. You’re supposed to have 67 gallons of hot water based on six people using it. And then after that, you’re supposed to have ten gallons of hot water for each person.  

And one of the things we see so often happening in these short-term rentals is they’ll take a three or four-bedroom home and they’ll figure out a way to put 12 people in there by adding bunk beds and doing all kinds of crazy things. Well, 67 gallons of hot water isn’t enough.  

And so what they do to overcompensate for that is they turn the temperature up on the hot water. And I’m going into rental properties all the time now where I’m seeing water temperatures at 135 or 140. Put your finger under 135-degree water and you can’t even hold it there for 3 seconds.  

And so it’s crazy to think that these kids are in there and they’re getting third-degree burns because they’re underneath the shower and their little brother or somebody turns it or they bump it all the way to hot for a second and they freeze, not freeze cold, but freeze in position. And suddenly they’re getting burned and screaming.  

So really, really important to make sure the domestic hot water in your rental is at 125 or less. And if you’ve decided to go over six people in your rental property, make sure you’ve got storage tanks, hot water storage tanks that are able to supply for that many people. And you can Google this as well. It lists how many gallons of hot water you should have based on your occupancy.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:18:52] For those people who want to bring Christmas trees into their rentals, let’s talk about the big one.

Justin Ford: [00:18:59] Let’s talk about foliage and Christmas trees. Now, here’s something that’s crazy. I would have never have thought about this, but 2.6 million people fell last year while using unstable chairs or stools, putting up Christmas decorations. It’s crazy. I watch people go– even when I was at your event in Las Vegas, we had people trying to stand up on chairs for a picture. I was like, no, chairs should never be stood upon.

Annette Grant: [00:19:24] Not at our event.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:19:25] It will never happen.

Justin Ford: [00:19:26] You have got to use a stepladder. Do not try and put decorations up. Think about that. Two and a half million people are going to get hurt just decorating. But when it comes to Christmas trees and different things like that, there’s a lot of different concerns with live things. 

First off, live holiday trees should never be in a short-term rental. You can’t count on the renters to water them. And you got to make sure that if you are installing a tree at all, that it’s also labeled as fire-resistant. But live trees are a big hazard. So it’s really important not to do it. And other live things that aren’t good either are like Jerusalem Cherry and amaryllis. Mistletoe. If you want to put mistletoe in– I love mistletoe. Every time I stand in there–

Annette Grant: [00:20:08] Oh, I thought you said mistletoe is dangerous. I’m like it’s dangerous for other reasons. You might get a smudge from somebody you don’t want one from.

Justin Ford: [00:20:15] Exactly. But all those plants are poisonous. And they’re not only really to humans, but think about it, for pets. More pets end up in the vet for emergencies during the holiday seasons for ingesting poisonous holiday plants. So if you’re a pet-friendly Airbnb, you’ve got to be really smart to make sure that you’re not putting poisonous plants in the property for decoration.  

Really, I know you guys hate it. I hate it. I won’t do it in my own home. But we’ve just got to for our rental properties, we’ve got to put the fake stuff in that looks as good as we can. We’ve got to go to Michael’s and get the fake stuff.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:20:54] I’m here for the fake stuff.

Annette Grant: [00:20:54] Yeah, for sure, because if it isn’t a live tree, if it’s not watered, it becomes extremely flammable, correct? Once it dries out?

Justin Ford: [00:21:02] Exactly. And you add to that light, a lot of people think today’s lights are safer. They’re not. They’re mass-produced in so many different ways. And I was at a vacation rental in North Carolina last year that they decorated for Christmas and they actually had a fire even on– fortunately, it was a fake tree and it was the type of tree that was fire resistant. But there was still an issue in there. And it was just because there was so many different lights, too many were plugged into one socket and someone had used a stapler to staple it part of the way before it got to the tree.  

They thought it would keep it out of the way from the renters. It ended up shorting out and catching on fire. So there’s a lot of different ways for these trees to catch on fire. We don’t need to help people by using live ones.

Annette Grant: [00:21:48] Well, so, Justin– and you and I don’t know if our listeners know this, Justin, can you tell them how many homes you use to manage, vacation rentals you used to manage?

Justin Ford: [00:21:56] Yeah, over the time, 600.

Annette Grant: [00:21:58] So I have a question for you. Let’s say you have this amazing home. Someone’s renting it for 10 days, potentially for the holidays, thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. And they want to bring a Christmas tree. They want a live tree. That’s what it is. And they tell you about that they ask. How would you handle that request? Because they’re spending a lot of money. This is their holiday. They always have a live tree. What would Justin do? How would you handle this?

Justin Ford: [00:22:26] Well, I would first start with a little bit of a white lie. I’ll be honest with you. I would say we’re not insured to do it. I always like to throw insurance out there and say look– 

Sarah Karakaian: [00:22:34] Give a bad cop.

Annette Grant: [00:22:35] Okay.

Justin Ford: [00:22:36] Yeah, bad cop. The insurance is the bad cop. I would just say for insurance purposes, we’re not allowed to have live trees in our rental properties. And technically, you can find loopholes to back that up. But ultimately, I know that the insurance companies don’t want it in there. Some of them may go so far as to specify it. I don’t know what our friends at Proper Insurance would say. But they don’t want them in there either. They want to do anything to reduce risk. And so that would be where I would start. 

If ultimately it came down to it, depending on who the home is and who the homeowner was, I would almost insist that we’re coming in every two days to ensure it’s getting watered. Hey, one of my staff will swing by on a professional side or me. If it’s not far away, I might have to say, I’m going to come in and check it every once in a while if you’re going to have live stuff in there.

Annette Grant: [00:23:22] Okay. Interesting. So you might let them do it, but you’re going to go in and check the lights, check the water, make sure it’s good to go.

Justin Ford: [00:23:28] Yeah. And I’m going to charge them for it.

Annette Grant: [00:23:31] Yeah. Okay. Interesting. All right. Thanks. I wanted to see what you would say to that.

Justin Ford: [00:23:36] Yeah. Now, another thing that happens a lot on the holidays and this kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier with signage and posting things is choking. Number one cause of non fire-related death at Thanksgiving is choking. So I think it’s a really good time just to go above and beyond as a great host or manager is to have what to do in a choking event sign.  

And I think they’re great all the time, but I think the holidays, especially in Thanksgiving, if you have guests that are in over Thanksgiving, you just go on to the American Red Cross website or there’s a lot of different guides, you can just Google it and just print off what to do in the event of choking and have that just out and available for the guests just in case. In a tough situation, they have to refer to it.

Annette Grant: [00:24:27] All right. Anything else that you’ve seen over the holidays that we can prepare for? This isn’t technically holiday specific, but what do we want to do about ice, frost, snow right away? Do we give a shovel and salt to our guests, or do you try to put that completely on your team?

Justin Ford: [00:24:48] I think you do both. I think you’ve got to have somebody in place that’s going to do it that makes sure that immediately after storm they’re doing it. I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask someone who’s a professional to come out and shovel your walkway in the middle of the storm.  

So if the guests need to get out or there’s an emergency call, you always have to plan for the emergency call. You never know when someone’s going to have a heart attack or there’s going to be some terrible event that’s happening. And it’s really important to make sure that you’ve got ice melt available to the guests so that they can do what they need to do in an emergency situation. So I think it’s fine to offer it to them, but you’ve got to be prepared for it as well.

Annette Grant: [00:25:28] And listeners, Sarah knows as well, go get the ice melt today. Don’t wait till the storm comes because it will sell out. So this is also your warning. Just get this stuff prepared now so it’s already there.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:25:39] Before the storm friendly stuff. And we put it in a cute little bin that’s not going to rust outside and we label it “ice” so the guest knows. We always have a shovel in it, but a scooper. But yeah, Justin, we do both. We do ourselves. We also arm the guest with the tool that they might need to make it however salty, I guess they want to make it.

Annette Grant: [00:26:00] But seriously, I remember last year Sarah and I were in Pennsylvania and we were picking up ice melt from any state we could just to stock it. Awesome.

Justin Ford: [00:26:10] So we’ve started to put together a little bit of a checklist. I think it’s worthy to go through a few things. You’re listing this now. We’re coming up later this month in November on Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, all the different type of holidays that happen then. I think first and foremost, this is a time if you haven’t done it, to get your kitchen really well clean.  

18% of the fires that start in a stove are because they haven’t been cleaned very well. There’s grease on the overhead area. So it’s time to really get your kitchen in good, clean shape and make sure that all your small appliances are working, your knives are sharp. It’s time to start thinking about that. That’s first and foremost.  

Number two is getting the right supplies to put in your property. If you’re deciding to put in Christmas decorations and you want to put lights, if the lights are all twisted and old and whatever, it’s time to get some new ones. Outdoor lights outside, indoor lights inside. You want to make sure that you’re reading the instructions, how they get plugged in. Not too many can be plugged into the same socket.  

And they make great ways to hang these down. You don’t have to use staples or nails or tacks to put them up. You’ve got to use the right type of hangers that are safe so they don’t catch on fire. So just kind of getting started thinking about things.  

And then you’re going to move into guest communication, get them thinking about the holidays, excited that they’re coming, they’ve chosen your house. I mean, imagine this. People are choosing your rental property to come spend one of the most important family gathering times of the year. And get them excited about it and let them know that you’re here to support them and make sure that they have a safe stay in your property.

Annette Grant: [00:27:55] I love that, Justin. All right. I mean, I think everybody’s got a lot of work to do.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:28:00] Yeah.

Justin Ford: [00:28:02] They’ve got some work to do. This is just such a great time of year to do it. You’re going to create great memories. The last thing you want to do is have those memories ruined because you didn’t take that. And I’m not saying go overboard. I’m not saying go nuts and print off five things and send them 20 emails. You’ve got to just subtly do it, get that word into their head of safety.  

The biggest one of all, and this is something that I know is controversial. We go back and forth, it’s alcohol. And most of these holiday accidents happen when alcohol is involved. And you can’t tell your hosts not to bring alcohol with them. They’re going to do it.  

But I really think don’t get into offering them a bottle of wine for the holidays. Let them bring it on their own. Give them some Oreo cookies, give them a first aid kit. But the last thing you want to do is start them off. There’s too much risk involved with that. You don’t know if the kids are going to get into it.

Annette Grant: [00:28:56] I like that tip. Or if they already bought all their own, they don’t need that second or third bottle when they’re like, oh, you know what? We’ve had our two. We’ll go ahead and use this one from the host.

Justin Ford: [00:29:07] No need to encourage them. No need to get them started. And I think that there’s some increased risk with that. I know that a lot of the insurance companies now have something that’s really important that you need to consider and be aware of, and it’s called the off-premise liability. We’ve talked about that before in the past, but are you covered if guests get drunk during the holidays and leave your property and something terrible happens? There’s no difference between your house and a bar if you started them off on the first bottle of wine and an accident happens.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:29:36] It’s always a good time to call your insurance company and make sure that you understand what your policy is. Justin, before we let you go, talk to us very quickly about the Breezeway safety check that our listeners can do before we get into the holidays, they can really go through their property, make sure they’re all set.

Justin Ford: [00:29:55] Exactly. It’s really important to do the safety program we have. When you sign up for the safety program, it’s free first and foremost. And it’s really exciting because what this is and I’ll be right up front, this is a sales demo, too. You get to look at the Breezeway software platform at the same time.  

You don’t have to use it, but if you decide you want to use it and see that it’s really cool, you’ve done that using it for the safety checklist. So when you sign up, we give you a checklist and in fact, you two ladies are included in a nice little three-minute video that walks people through the property to show them exactly what they need to do to be safety reviewed by Breezeway.  

It’s super easy. You just do the things that we tell you to do, and then once you’re done, you put it into the inspection software Breezeway, which is again accessible for free. And then you get a beautiful report that you can print off and you can share it with your guests. We’re seeing a lot of people now share that report with the guests. It’s making a difference in bookings for them. Who would have known safety was a sales tool? That was never my intention, but it’s working out amazing.  

And so you can proudly display that you have gone through this safety review. And the safety review is better than what your local authorities are doing. And I’m not discounting what local authorities are doing, but they’re focused on the 3%. They’re focused on the fires. I was a firefighter for 15 years. I never was taught about slips, trips, and falls or furniture, tip-over hazards or sharpening knives, all those different things that you should do. 
So we’re going above and beyond to help you cover all the things that really could be a bigger pain in your butt to deal with if you don’t address them than what the local fire chief or code enforcement officer is concerned about.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:31:38] You can do all the things. You can do your local, you can do the Breezeway. I did the Breezeway safety check. Not that it’s easy, but it’s not this big heavy lift. But my goodness, was a good just even for myself. I talked to Justin all the time. But to have this checklist and make sure my properties are dialed in and then, of course, if your insurance provider is Proper, you do get a little discount for doing that.

Justin Ford: [00:31:59] Yeah. I had a woman at your event offered to buy me dinner with the savings that she had. And let me tell you, it’s not cheap in Vegas for dinner. I never took her up on it.

Annette Grant: [00:32:09] Talk about a little– little fun snippet. Sarah and I ordered four slices of pizza, cheese, pizza, $38.97.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:32:22] And we didn’t even blink on it.

Annette Grant: [00:32:22] So you should have taken her up on that free dinner.

Justin Ford: [00:32:26] I probably should have.

Annette Grant: [00:32:27] But, Justin, thank you so much. We know that you are helping so many hosts and in turn saving so many lives and all these rentals and plus just teaching us things that we can use in your own home. Everybody, double up. The stuff that Justin just gave us, don’t stop at your rental. Bring that into your own home during the holidays, too. I think that’s what’s so cool. What Justin offers us is not only safety for our rentals, but safety for our own homes because I know I learn every single time from Mr. Justin Ford. So thanks for being on again, Justin. We know we will have you back soon.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:32:58] All right, Justin. Any parting words?

Justin Ford: [00:33:01] Absolutely. Thank you very much. Stand on a stepladder, not on a chair when you decorate. 

Sarah Karakaian: [00:33:07] All right. And listen STRShareSunday, if you’re home doesn’t look safe, Justin tells us, he’s like, “No, you can’t share that one, ladies.”

Annette Grant: [00:33:14] We get scolded.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:33:15] So as long as you dial in your safety, you could be STRShare with us here at Thanks for Visiting. But my name is Sarah Karakaian.

Annette Grant: [00:33:21] And I’m Annette Grant, and together we are–

Both Sarah and Annette: [00:33:23] Thanks for Visiting.

Sarah Karakaian: [00:33:24] We’ll talk to you next time.