This category is all about Health and Safety Guidance for owners of holiday homes, cottages and complexes in the UK. It contains posts, articles and tips on many areas of managing a safe and legal Holiday Letting business. It includes articles, tips and guidance on fire safety, risk assessments, electrical circuit safety and PAT testing, Carbon monoxide safety and so much more. Check out these posts, Does your holiday home need a fire alarm system? Holiday Home Industry Code Of Practice, Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting.

vaping

vapingOver the past decade the nation’s views toward smoking have changed immeasurably; the introduction of legislation in 2007 prohibiting smoking from enclosed public spaces such as offices, pubs, restaurants and transport stations has contributed to a drop of 1.9 million smokers in the UK and smoking rates being at their lowest since records began.

However, not all of these smokers will have kicked the habit completely with many instead turning toward e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’.  A recent national survey found that there are now 2.9 million vapers in England. So what is vaping and are there any risks for your holiday home?

How does vaping work?

The average e-cigarette is made up of a mouthpiece, a cartridge or tank to hold the liquid (often known as ‘e-juice’), a heating element or atomizer to heat the liquid and a battery to power it. The concept is that flavoured liquid within the cartridge is heated to a temperature at which vapour is produced. This is usually between 100 – 250c. It is this vapour that the user inhales.

Are there fire risks for your holiday home?

Traditional smoking is also one of the main causes of accidental fires around the home. Figures produced by Fire Protection Online show that in 2008 there were around 2,800 fires in the UK caused by smokers’ materials and they accounted for more than a third of fire deaths in non-domestic buildings in 2013–14, making it the most common cause.

So where do e-cigarettes stand in comparison? Fires related to vaping have increased significantly over recent years, rising from only eight in 2012 to 62 during 2014 and accounting for two fatalities.

Experts are mainly concerned about the chargers used to power the devices, which have been shown to heat up to dangerous temperatures if used with the wrong ‘vaping’ kit. In response the fire services have created a number of safety tips for users:

  1. Only use the charger supplied with your e-cigarette kit – other chargers may cause problems with incompatible battery types.
  2. Do not ‘mix and match’ components between kits.
  3. Do not over tighten the battery on to the charger – screw the battery in gently after plugging in the charger first.
  4. Never leave the kit unattended while charging.
  5. Clean the battery’s ‘centre pin’ and charger contact at least once a week.
  6. Once fully charged, removed the battery from the charger.

Communicating your vaping policy to guests

If you don’t allow vaping in your holiday home, it’s important you communicate this to your guests. Whilst people will often be used to seeing no-smoking signs or this being listed on promotional literature, people can often think that vaping falls outside of these parameters as there isn’t actually any ‘smoke’.

Make sure that it’s clear whether or not vaping is allowed within your holiday home, for example:

  • on your website
  • in your booking information
  • in your welcome pack

This will ensure that there’s no confusion over your policy and help prevent negative feedback and guest complaints.

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

carbon monoxide

carbon monoxide

Reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, often dubbed the ‘silent killer’, have increased significantly in the past twelve months. As reported in the press around 1,800 properties have been affected in the past year across Devon and Cornwall. This represents an increase of 134% year on year. So what exactly is carbon monoxide and where does it come from? What do you need to do in order to ensure your holiday home is safe from any potential issues?

What is carbon monoxide and where does it come from?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. It is a silent killer that causes around 25 deaths across the UK every year. It’s produced when fuel doesn’t burn properly or completely. Poor fitting and maintenance of appliances such as cookers, boilers and wood burners being the most common causes in households across the UK.

How can it be detected and what are the symptoms of poisoning?

Because the gas has no smell or taste, it’s impossible to know that you’re being subjected to it until symptoms appear or it’s potentially too late. The early symptoms of potential carbon monoxide poisoning can include:

  1. Headache
  2. Feeling nauseous (sick) or dizzy.
  3. You may also feel tired or suffer confusion.
  4. Some people are physically sick (vomiting) and can show signs of abdominal pain.
  5. After further exposure individuals have also been known to suffer memory loss, confusion and problems with coordination.

The issue with many of the early symptoms is that they can often resemble everyday aches and pains. For example having a headache or feeling tired after a long day! Many may also resemble the flu; however, the key difference is that CO poisoning will not cause the individual to have a temperature.

What do you need to do as a holiday homeowner?

There are a number of steps that you need to take as a holiday homeowner to ensure the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning are minimised for your guests:

Use approved installation and service engineers 

Make sure that all appliances within your holiday home have been correctly installed and are maintained by a professional on a regular basis. Any tradesperson undertaking work in your holiday let should also have the relevant accreditation for their trade. For example, if you’re having a new gas boiler fitted the work should be undertaken by a business that is on the Gas Safety Register:

Fit carbon monoxide alarms in your holiday home

Your cottage should be fitted with carbon monoxide alarms in any area in which fuel is burned. Recent research has shown that 80% of homeowners aren’t sure whether or not their own alarm is working. And many are not aware of the difference in sound from their smoke alarm. For this reason, ensure that your holiday home checks include testing of fire and CO alarms on a very regular basis to ensure they’re both functional.

Have your chimneys and flues regularly swept

Although carbon monoxide poisoning is often associated with gas appliances, blocked chimney flues are one of the most common causes of CO in homes across the UK. If your holiday home has a chimney and working fire it should be swept on a regular basis and particularly after long periods of inactivity. You can find out more about chimney sweeping and safety in our blog here:

Ensure your holiday home is well-ventilated

CO is able to build up in rooms and areas of your cottage that are not well-ventilated. Ensure that your cottage has plenty of ventilation in areas that are burning fuel and that air bricks are not blocked by furniture or any other item.

You can watch a useful video on preventing carbon monoxide poisoning here:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Would you like an insurance quote for your holiday letting property? Give us a call on 01237 429444.

Thumbturn Lock

Thumbturn Lock Why consider thumbturn locks for your holiday home exit doors? Have you had that frustrating moment when you get to the door and can’t find your keys to get out? It can be annoying for a few minutes whilst you locate them. However imagine if this were to happen in the case of an emergency such as a fire. The consequences could be serious and even potentially fatal.

Now consider you’re on holiday, you don’t know the layout of the property as well as your own home. Chances are you and your belongings are all in a state of flux as you relax and unwind. Afterall you are on a well earned holiday. The chances of you knowing where your keys are or even where to look for them are diminished. The consequences of not finding your keys can be very significant. Especially so should you need to leave your holiday home in an emergency. This is where thumbturn locks come into their own!

Keeping your guests safe should an emergency happen

As a holiday homeowner the safety of your guests will be paramount to the service you offer them; you want them to have a great time and you want them to have a safe time.

The scenario we’ve painted may be one you think will never happen to your own guests and it’s certainly one we hope will never happen, but statistics show that fires or other emergencies can; in the past year there’s been nearly 700,000 call outs of fire brigades across the country, which is a staggering 1,900 every day.  261 people died over that period from fire related incidents.

Making it easier for your guests to escape with thumbturn locks

When escaping an emergency such as a fire in your holiday home speed is key. One way you can enable this is by fitting thumbturn locks on final exit doors. On the exterior of the door entry is still gained via a key, but on the inside the door can be quickly and easily unlocked with the turn of a knob.

This ultimately means you only need to use the key when leaving (to lock it) and entering (to unlock it) your property and is a key reason the device is supported and recommended by the emergency services. Considering appropriate means of easy escape, together with raising the alarm is a fundamental part of of any holiday home fire risk assessment.

Can thumbturn locks be fitted retrospectively?

The good news with these locks is that they can be easily be retro-fitted to your existing UPVC or composite doors in a matter of minutes. Speak to a locksmith for guidance on solutions for other types of doors. Remember that these locks are still going to secure your holiday home so we always recommend you use professional tradespeople to ensure that an appropriate solution is implemented.

If you would like to find a qualified locksmith in your area then please click on this link:

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

 

bunk beds

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

fire alarm

fire alarm40,000 homes across the UK (more than 100 per day) fall victim to fire. The consequences of a fire can be severe or even fatal. This is especially true if a fire alarm system is not installed.

When it comes to our own homes we’ll often be familiar with the quickest or most appropriate exit; we’ll know where the nearest fire extinguisher is or the safest way to deal with emergencies.

Now imagine if you were in a property you’re unfamiliar with. Perhaps the fire is at night and smoke has filled the halls. You’re not sure of the way out, or you’re unable to find the landing light switch.

A frightening prospect to say the least, but one that any guest could be presented with should a fire occur. As a holiday cottage owner it’s your responsibility to make sure that guests are kept safe. Whilst you’ll not be able to lead them from a burning building, you can take steps to reduce the risk. Such as that of a fire occurring and increase the chances of everyone exiting the property safely by early detection.

What are your fire safety legal obligations as a holiday homeowner?

Fire Safety Law (known as Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) was introduced in 2006 and makes holiday homeowners responsible for taking measures to protect guests from the risks of fire and applies to all tourism businesses that accept payment for guests to stay in their property.

Under this legal obligation, if you haven’t already you will need to:

  1. Conduct a fire risk assessment
  2. Improve your fire safety measures in accordance with any issues highlighted in your assessment.
  3. Keep the risks and measures under review

Do you need a fire alarm system in your holiday home?

The simple answer is yes, as early detection provided by a fire alarm system is the most effective way to maximising the chances of guests being kept safe, and minimising any potential damage to your holiday home.

The exact number and location of the detectors will depend largely on the layout of your property, but they should always include staircases, corridors and bedrooms as an absolute minimum.

Smaller holiday letting properties and fire safety

If your property is small, which in these terms generally refers to a cottage that has no more than two storeys, a couple of guest bedrooms and a short travel distance to a safe place outside, having a system of connected detectors with a 10-year battery life should suffice. This is known as a Grade F LD2
system.

Most detectors will make some sort of bleeping sound when batteries are running low, however in addition be sure to check them on a regular basis and perhaps consider making this part of your change over checklist.

Larger holiday letting properties and fire safety

If your property is larger, perhaps similar to the size of a standard family home, you should be looking at an automatic fire detection system consisting of interconnected detectors that will run off of the mains electricity, with a battery back-up should that fail. This is known as a Grade D LD2 system designed for domestic premises.

With both of these systems it is important to emphasise the interconnectivity of the detectors. This is especially relevant to ensure that the alarm is sounded and heard in all areas of your cottage, not just the one closest to the smoke.

A heat detector in the kitchen should be linked to the rest of the Grade D or Grade F system.

More detailed information on complying with the fire safety law and the installation of fire alarms in holiday letting properties can be found here:

Remain vigilant

No matter the size your property, however small maintain and test your fire alarm system. Keep a record of the last time your fire alarm was tested. Smoke detectors are reported to cut the risk of death in half should a severe fire break out – your vigilance can make a real difference.

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.

Please note this article only gives an overview of fire alarm systems for holiday homeowners hence we suggest you take advice from a qualified fire safety professional before making any decisions in this area.  

Emergency Lighting

Emergency LightingAs the nights get longer the weather is often more unpredictable and the risk of powercuts increase. Emergency lighting in its basic form can be cost efficient and will ensure your holiday home guests are not left in the dark.

In the event of a standard power cut, the provision of torches or alternative lighting sources may well prove to be sufficient. But what if the stakes were much higher? What if the cause of the power being cut were due to a fire? Your guests may be left in a situation where they’re in the dark trying to navigate their way out of a property in which they have little understanding of the layout; an impossible and potentially deadly task. Have you considered emergency lighting in your fire risk assessment?

So do holiday homes require emergency lighting, furthermore what are your options?

Can you utilise ‘borrowed lighting’?

Are you familiar with the term, ‘borrowed lighting’? It refers to lighting from nearby areas and sources; this could be from adjacent streetlights or signage, or anything that would keep the interior of your cottage lit to a level that would allow a guest to exit it without problem should there be a fire at night. Sufficient borrowed lighting may in some cases negate your need for emergency lighting within your holiday let, although this is of course a judgement call (remember guests may well have all of the curtains drawn and what about that powercut?).

Providing torches

A holiday cottage in the countryside, away from borrowed lighting will require an alternative emergency light source. This can be as simple as providing rechargeable torches. A number of options are available and if you are going down this route it is recommended that you have one in each of the bedrooms within your property. When it comes to safety measures within a holiday home communication is always key; therefore ensure they’re clearly visible within the room and not just tucked away in a drawer. Regularly check they are working so you’re aware of any faults before they become an issue.

3 in 1 night light, torch and emergency lighting

These handy 3 in 1 emergency lights are fast becoming the preferred option for holiday cottage owners. When placed on landings and in hallways they can provide an economical emergency lighting solution. Holiday homeowners can purchase these online, there are many available on the market. We have linked to a few of the popular models available:

  1. 3 in 1 Rechargeable Torch

You may recognise this very affordable product from TV’s Dragons Den. It has three useful features; a rechargeable torch, automatic night light & emergency power cut light. The powerful LED’s come on automatically is the power fails and will safeguard your guests with 4 hours of light. It has also an A++ Energy Efficiency rating therefore appealing to your eco-conscious guests.

  1. Xtralite Nitesafe

This option has an LED bulb of up to 60 lumens which is super bright, just what you need in case of emergency. Incidently it still uses around 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Additionally it also has a built in nightlight and motion sensor.

  1. Plug In PIR Motion Sensor LED Night Light & Emergency Torch

Slightly more expensive per unit and can last up to 6 hours. It has a plug-in magnetic cradle, inductive charging, 18 LEDs, and a built-in 500mAH rechargeable battery. Plus, the detachable torch function gives you two hours of full-beam usage to go anywhere in the home with ease.

Do you have a larger holiday home?

Owners of larger holiday homes may want to consider a dedicated emergency lighting system. The good news is that these are not as expensive as they used to be – just be sure to do your research, purchase your system from a reputable supplier and always have it installed by a professional electrician.

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

Please note this article only gives an overview of Emergency Lighting options for Holiday Let owners hence we suggest you take advice from a qualified fire safety professional before making any decisions in this area if you do not feel you are competent to make these decisions yourself.

Holiday Let Outside Lighting

It’s time to consider how well you illuminate the way to your holiday letting property with outside lighting. With British Summer Time at an end for another year the mornings and nights will soon be much darker. So if you’re welcoming guests during the winter months, ask yourself how well-lit is the exterior of your holiday home and the paths that lead to it?   Holiday Let Outside Lighting

Reducing the risks of slips, trips and falls with outside lighting

It’s important that all paths, steps and approaches to the entrance to your holiday home are illuminated sufficiently. Carefully positioning outside lighting will reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls.

During the winter months’ guests may not only have to deal with arriving or departing whilst it’s dark, they may also have to endure the cold, ice or rain that often accompanies the great British winter.

Slippery surfaces can become real hazards once the sun has gone down, and if you combine this with the fact that your guests won’t be familiar with the layout of your cottage and the approaches that lead to it, it further emphasises the importance of lighting these clearly for them to follow.

Should a guest trip and fall when approaching your holiday home at night, any injury claim will be impossible to defend if your paths and steps are not well lit.

Making things easy – lighting your key safe

The majority of holiday homes will have a key safe. They provide your guests convenient access no matter what time they’re arriving. You should ideally have a light in this area so guests are able to easily see the key code. There’s nothing worse than trying to find some sort of light, whether via a smart phone or a torch they keep in the car. Especially when all they want to do is get in, start their holiday and relax after a long drive.

Making sure they’re at the right place

Lighting the name or number of your property will give your guests confidence they’ve arrived at the right place. With our ever extending reliance on sat-navs, this can be an important feature if they’re arriving at night when they can’t fully see the exterior of the cottage. An added bonus if your cottage is in the countryside when a postcode may cover several different roads.

Options for reducing electricity bills on lighting

Whilst LED lights have become increasingly common within the interior and exterior of holiday homes to reduce potential energy bills (research has indicated they can save you up to £200 per year in an average household by being 10 times more efficient than their candescent counterparts), there are a number of solutions that could cut the costs of external lighting on your holiday home.

If you’re looking at the pathways to your property have you consider solar powered lights. These can be quick and easy to install, cost effective to buy and should still emit light in the darkest days of winter. However be sure to purchase good quality solar lights that will stand up to the job.

Looking to light that key safe? Consider motion censored lighting. Whilst there is a cost, it should soon pay for itself. Lighting triggered by motion can also scare off potential intruders looking to gain entry to your holiday home.

Maintaining your outside lighting

Ensure that all of your bulbs and outside lighting are regularly checked. This may be by you, your housekeeper, caretaker or whomever is responsible for the continued upkeep of your property. Whilst it’s only a small job, a faulty bulb can end up on a busy to-do list. Therefore ensure that as soon as there is an issue it is quickly resolved. This will make life easier for your guests and make their stay safer. It may even save you a costly holiday home insurance liability claim.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home and property insurance to holiday cottage owners across the country. For more information on our policies have a look around Boshers website. For a quote or to ask any question please give our team a call on 01237 429444.

fire risk assessment

fire risk assessmentHave you considered what would happen if your holiday home became the victim of fire? Whilst we hope it won’t happen to us, there are more than 40,000 house fires across the UK each year. Therefore it’s vital that holiday let owners are aware of the consequences a fire could have on their holiday home.

Above all owners should:

  • take preventative measures
  • outline these measures in a written fire risk assessment

This will help ensure that the risks of one occurring are effectively minimised keeping you and your guests safe.

The law and fire regulations

When it comes to the law, all businesses, regardless of size, are required to comply with the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005. A key aspect of effective compliance is for you to undertake a fire risk assessment for your holiday home, which will identify any potential fire risks and the measures you need to put in place to control them.

Whilst only businesses that employ five or more staff are required to keep a written record of this assessment, it’s recommended that you keep a document outlining your own approach to fire safety in order to prove that you’ve fulfilled your legal requirements.

Creating a fire risk assessment

Many of us won’t have ever needed to create a risk assessment of any kind. So if you’re a new cottage owner or haven’t already got a fire risk assessment in place it can be difficult to know where to start. For this reason, VisitEngland has created a useful fire risk assessment template in collaboration with the National Fire Chiefs Council.

To carry out your own fire risk assessment please click here: VisitBritain – Fire Risk Assessment Template

Remember that this is only a template and should only be used in order to complete some of the core areas of your own fire risk assessment. Every cottage will have its own unique set of requirements. Do give careful consideration to your own holiday home and any potential risks to your property and to your guests.

Review your fire risk assessment

Your holiday letting property together with potential fire risks can change over time. Therefore it’s important to emphasise that your fire risk assessment should be regularly reviewed. Ensure that any actions required within your assessment are carried out, where necessary by a qualified professional (for example Portable Appliance Testing), and that your document is updated accordingly.

Your holiday let insurance

We know that fire can have a devastating impact on any holiday home business. This is especially so if your holiday home were to become uninhabitable at a busy time of the year.

Insurance is there to help you through tough times. If a fire were to make your cottage uninhabitable you would not only face the potential bill to fix the issue, but also be left facing a loss of rental income.

For this reason, our own policy automatically covers cottage owners for up to two years’ loss of rental income. As standard, cover is included up to a sum of £75,000 (£37,500 per annum) for loss of gross rental income. Giving you as an owner peace of mind should your property become unavailable as the result of fire. Does your holiday home have an annual gross rental income in excess of £37,500 per annum (£75,000 over two years)? We provide additional cover for holiday cottage complexes and for larger properties on request.

Further information including links to useful guidance and documents are available here – Fire Safety Law for Holiday Homeowners

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

Please note that this article gives only an overview of Fire Risk Assessments for Holiday Lets and we suggest you take advice from a qualified professional before making any decisions in this area if you are not confident of using the above fire risk assessment tool.

hotpoint fridge Holiday Home

hotpoint fridge Holiday HomeInvestigations into the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower have pointed towards a faulty Hotpoint fridge freezer being the cause. The government said that further tests are being carried out by the manufacturer. However it has already been confirmed that model was not subject to any product recall.

Whirlpool, who owns Hotpoint, said: “We offer our most profound condolences to the victims, those who have lost loved ones, homes, and possessions, and to their friends and families.”

As holiday home insurance specialists we feel a duty to help you as a holiday homeowner to keep informed in order to help you protect your family, friends and paying guests and keep them safe.

What should you do if you have a Hotpoint Fridge Freezer in your home or holiday home?

Anyone who has a white Hotpoint fridge freezer model number FF175BP or graphite fridge freezer model number FF175BG should register their appliance with the manufacturer to receive any updates. Generally, the model number is found on a bar code on a sticker behind the salad container in the fridge.

These models were discontinued in 2009, however 64,000 were sold between March 2006 and July 2009. It is not known how many are still in use. Owners should ring 0800 316 3826 or visit the Hotpoint website.

House fires connected to fridge freezers and other electrical appliances are all too common, thus empahising the importance of regular inspections and PAT Testing of the appliances in your holiday home. Further guidance for holiday homeowners on electrical and fire sfety can be found by following the links below:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Family friendly holiday letting

Family friendly holiday lettingWhether your family friendly holiday letting property will be welcoming babies, toddlers, or older children this year, one thing every family will appreciate is the cottage owner that goes that extra mile to make their stay a home away from home.

Achieving this in reality will be a process of finding a balance between fun and practical; you’ll need to think of things that might not make it into that packed car. Make life easier for them on arrival, whilst also providing them with some entertainment facilities in order to keep minds and bodies active.

Here are a few easy wins for your guests, and your property when it comes to welcoming young families…

Keep the wet shoes, umbrella and swimwear elsewhere

Kids love to run around and get mucky, and if you don’t provide an area for muddy or wet shoes you’ll probably find yourself scrubbing the carpet stains next week! The same goes for water stains from swimming costumes that have been draped over wooden chairs, or a nice puddle from a wet umbrella.

When it comes to the great British summer having an area for all of these items is essential, so if your holiday home already has one ensure that your guests know to use it, and where to hang those soggy swimming costumes.  If you haven’t got an area like this, where could you create one in order to make it convenient for your guests, and less wearing on your cottage?

Make it safe and sturdy

When it comes to furnishing your holiday home ensure that all items are sturdy, robust and safe. If you’re welcoming children then glass, whether in a coffee table or a balustrade mightn’t be a good mix, so always think about your target market before adding items such as these.

Aside from furniture, you should be thinking about other things in the cottage that could pose a threat. Uncovered sockets, wires, and even cleaning products should all be looked at and put out of reach where possible.  Vases and similar items should also be moved accordingly.

Garden security, and safety

Have large outdoor spaces for children to play in? Your holiday home might well be a big hit with young families! The only thing you’ll need to be mindful of is access and security; does your garden back onto a road? Is it enclosed or is it going to be easy for children to wonder off? Having child proof locks on gates and exits from the garden are a must to create a secure and safe environment. If you haven’t already, consider installing these.

You may also have outdoor play equipment for your younger guests; these create a little something extra for those staying in the cottage. Make sure you’re familiar with what you’ll need to be considering when installing and maintaining this equipment by visiting our post here:

Entertain them

Whilst us brits are eternal optimists when it comes to the weather, sometimes the realist in us has to take over. Accept that on occasion, we are going to have to tolerate the odd rainy day. On such a day, your visiting family may choose to stay indoors and that is when entertainment becomes vital. Board games, books, and maybe some DVDs can turn a dull day into one filled with family fun. You can read more suggestions of rainy day entertainment here:

Practical items

Taking young children on holiday can be stressful; there’ll be plenty to remember for the family headed to your cottage. Sometimes things will be forgotten, or simply not fit in the car.  Make their trip a little less chaotic by providing high chairs, cots, or a smaller toilet seat for little ones?

This extra care will really be appreciated by the adults, and they’ll remember it long after their stay! This could easily result in recommendations to their friends or a return visit, which is great for your bookings.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.