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Bunk Beds – safety guidance for furnished holiday lets

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bunk bedsBunk beds will undoubtedly form great childhood memories for many of us; and when it comes to a holiday cottage or any other property they can be a real space saver. Is your holiday home family friendly? Do you already have, or are considering bunk beds? Here are a few pointers you need to consider…

What age are bunk beds suitable for?

It was always a dilemma; who gets the top bunk? In terms of the safety the answer should always be children over the age of six. Many modern bunk beds come with an upper weight limit. You may also want to invest in a night light which illuminates the room. This will allow children to climb safely up and down.

Whilst the bottom bunk is safe for children under the age of six, babies and toddlers should sleep in their own separate cot.

With this in mind it’s worth checking with guests on the age of their children before arrival so you can prepare and make any necessary arrangements.

Only allow one child on the bunk bed

If children visiting your holiday home don’t have bunk beds at home they can cause a lot of excitement and novelty when they first arrive. Be clear with parents that only one child should be on the top bunk at any time; it’s always worth having this information readily available for guests to adhere to.

Where do you place your bunk bed?

We’ve already said that they can be a real space saver, but you’ll need to consider where you place your bed very carefully if it’s in a smaller room. Your bunk bed should be well away from windows and also more than two meters away from any light fitting.

Placing carpet under your bed

Research has also shown that children falling onto carpet rather than a hard bare floor can significantly reduce the risk and nature of injuries, so if you can, place your bunk beds in a room that is carpeted.  If your room isn’t carpeted it’s worth placing carpet or a rug underneath the bed itself to avoid it moving around and to increase stability.

Installing a guard rail and a well-fitted mattress

One of the most common causes of bunk bed injuries is falling from the top bunk whilst sleeping. Therefore it’s vital that bunk beds come with rails for the top bunk. These should be:

  • 16cm taller (minimum) than the mattress
  • fitted on both sides; and
  • have a gap of 300mm to allow access

Your mattress should also be well-fitted; you don’t want it to be able to be easily moved around within the frame of the bed. Also bear in mind that when it comes to purchasing a mattress for your top bunk, you’ll need to give careful consideration to the depth of the mattress in order to meet the requirements of the guard rail height.

In addition to prevent trapped heads and limbs it’s important to ensure that the distance between:

  • bed frame and bottom of guardrails is not more than 7.5cm
  • rails is not more than 7cm

Additional information on child safety and bunk beds can be found on page 20 of the Child Product Safety Guide available to download here.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, call us on 01237 429444

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