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.

Deafgard - holiday home fire safety for deaf guests

Deafgard - holiday home fire safety for deaf guestsBeing awoken in the middle of the night by the loud blast of a fire alarm can be both terrifying and disorientating. There may well be a multitude of things rushing through your mind; is there really a fire or is it a false alarm? Where are the children? Which is the safest route from the building?

For those staying in your holiday letting property this situation can be all the more complex. Remember, they won’t be familiar with the layout of your holiday home, nor the sound of the fire alarm that potentially fills it.

But think for a moment; what would they do without that sound?

In an environment in which your hearing is the ultimate first warning, what would you do if deprived of this most vital of senses?

Holiday Home Fire Safety for deaf guests and people with hearing loss

For guests to your holiday home that are deaf or hard of hearing (which accounts for 1 in 7 people in the UK) this is a very real problem. Fire safety is so often focused around the preventative sound of the alarm that many holiday homes may be unable to cater for visitors with diminished levels of hearing.

What do you need to do 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 their guests from the risks of fire and applies to all tourism accommodation providers.

There are three core areas to fire safety law:

  1. Conduct a fire risk assessment.
  2. Improve your fire safety measures as a result of issues highlighted in the assessment.
  3. Keep the risks and measures under review.

When combined with the Equality Act 2010 (which requires you to provide, where reasonable, equal access to those with disabilities), this means it’s vital your fire risk assessment takes into consideration potential visitors that are hard of hearing or deaf, and then puts in place procedures to allow them to enjoy a safe stay in your holiday accommodation.

As a provider of guest accommodation, what is reasonable?

Accommodation and service providers have a duty to take reasonable steps to remove, alter or avoid any physical barriers that make it impossible or reasonably difficult for people with disabilities to use their facilities. Factors to consider include, whether the proposed adjustments meets the needs of the disabled person, is affordable and whether it would have a serious effect on other people. What might be looked upon as reasonable for a large hotel chain may not be so for an individual furnished holiday letting property or small bed and breakfast.

With the above in mind, there is an opportunity for small self-catering accommodation providers to differentiate themselves by going the extra mile.

What are your fire safety options for deaf guests?

There are a range of options and equipment on the market that will allow you to keep hard of hearing guests safer in the event of a fire.

Here’s an overview of one of these:

The Deafgard by Fireco

The Deafgard by Fireco is a battery powered unit a deaf or hard of hearing person can take to their room.

In the event of a fire alarm sounding the unit is triggered and vibrates a pad that fits beneath the guest’s pillow, flashes an LED light and displays the word ‘fire’ to ensure your guest is fully awoken and aware of the alarm being sounded.

Here’s a quick look at how it works:

This is an efficient way to ensure hard of hearing and deaf visitors are made aware of an alarm seconds after it sounds. You may find that guests with hearing difficulties may bring their own Deafgard or similar device for use at your holiday home. However if it’s affordable to your holiday letting business, making one available is a great way to differentiate your holiday home and fulfill your responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.

These devices are available on the open market, for more information click here – Deafguard | Fireco.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Please note that this article gives only an overview of Fire Safety for deaf guests and the hard of hearing 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 guidance. 

Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting

Fire Safety Law for Holiday LettingThere are many different ways in which a fire could start in your holiday home. Having an understanding of the risks that fire poses to your property and your guests is vital to ensuring a safe stay in your cottage and complying with Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting.

Complying with Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting and completing a fire risk assessment

What is Fire Safety Law?

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.

Does it apply to you?

Fire Safety Law will apply to all tourism accommodation providers including holiday homeowners; if anyone pays to stay in your property, other than to live as a permanent home, you will need to comply.

What do you need to do?

There are three core areas to Fire Safety Law compliance:

  1. Conduct a fire risk assessment
  2. Improve your fire safety measures as a result of issues highlighted in the assessment
  3. Keep the risks and measures under review

How do you conduct a fire risk assessment?

A fire risk assessment is a thorough review of the risks of fire within your holiday home, the people that will be visiting your property and the measures you need to put in place to keep them as safe as possible.

It should broadly incorporate five parts:

  1. What are the fire hazards in your holiday home?

This should highlight any area of your holiday home in which a fire could begin. The most common causes of fire in holiday homes include kitchens and cooking, electrical appliances, candles, smoking and chimneys.

Our example:

If you have candles in your holiday home the naked flame from these could be a potential fire risk.

  1. Who is at risk?

Consider who is at risk as a result of each potential hazard; do you have young families staying in your holiday home? Older guests? Disabled guests?

Think carefully about the specific risks they may face.

Our example:

Candles are of particular risk to young children who could knock them over or be tempted to play with the flame.

  1. What is your plan to keep people safe?

Having considered the potential hazard and which of your visitors is at risk, how are you going to make sure they stay safe? What can you put in place to either mitigate or minimise the risk to your guest?

Our example:

Candles will be kept out of the reach of children and placed in holders that shield the naked flame.

  1. Record, train and plan

Make a note of the hazard and any measures you have put in place to minimise the risk. These measures should be communicated to anyone that will be involved in implementing or maintaining your fire safety plan.

Our example:

It was decided that candles would now only be positioned in areas of the holiday home that children couldn’t reach and be placed inside holders.

The holiday home cleaners were instructed of the changes and asked to ensure candles were only placed in those areas and that any broken holders were replaced within 2 days.  The candle would be removed until a replacement holder was available.

  1. Maintaining your fire risk assessment

Your assessment should include regular reviews of its effectiveness. This will also allow you to identify and highlight any potential issues that have arisen since you last put your plan in place.

Our example:

When initially conducting the assessment it was decided another full review would be conducted in two months time.

The review indicated that the steps to minimise the risk of candle fire and accident had been successful, but also highlighted a new barbeque had been added for the beginning of summer; steps would be put in place to address this new potential hazard.

With many guests booked in over the coming month a review would be completed in one month rather than two.

These documents will assist you with the Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting as a holiday home owner to comply with your obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Click the links below to find out more:

Holiday Home Fire Safety in England and Wales:

For Self-Catering holiday cottage owners in Scotland, the Scottish Government has produced the following:

For Self-Catering holiday cottage owners in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has produced the following PDF guide:

You may also find the following posts for holiday home owners of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Please note that this article gives only an overview of Fire Safety Law for Holiday Letting 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 guidance. 

Smoke detectorThe consequences of a fire in a holiday home can be extremely expensive, disruptive and even fatal. With local fire authorities attending more than 450 household fire incidents across the country each and every day (170,000 in the past year), they are also more common than you may think.

There are several steps you can take in order to minimise the risk, here’re our tips on preventing the five most common causes of fire in holiday homes.

Kitchen fires – common causes of fire in holiday homes

The kitchen is the room that by far contains the most common causes of fire in holiday homes, accounting for 43% of all household fires.

What can you do?

  • Any build up of fat or grease can quickly ignite; ensure your holiday home kitchen is regularly cleaned and cooker extractor filters replaced.
  • Water should never be thrown onto a pan fire, as it will act as an accelerant. Keep a fire blanket in your kitchen area and ensure it is clearly visible.
  • Position your toaster away from kitchen roll or curtains and ensure it is emptied on a regular basis.
  • Make sure towels, dish clothes and other flammable materials are stored away from the toaster and oven areas in your holiday home.

Electrical Appliances

In excess of 20% of household fires (37,000) are attributed to issues with electrical appliances.

  • You have a legal obligation to ensure that any electrical appliance with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for your visitors to use.
  • If your visitor reports a potential default with an electrical appliance it’s important it is checked as soon as possible and in the mean time not used.
  • Ensure that all electrical appliances are PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) tested on a regular basis.
  • Consider how frequently checks are made. For example, you may wish to inspect appliances on a more regular basis during the busy summer months, when usage will be higher.
  • Always remember potential defaults will not be obviously visible; thorough and regular checks by a qualified electrician are therefore important.

Smoking Fires

Fires related to smoking are the most deadly in the UK, accounting for 36% of all fire fatalities. Not allowing smoking in your holiday home will of course be the most effective way of preventing these fires.

If you do allow smoking in the external and garden areas of your holiday home consider having a designated area for this, and include ashtrays that are either fitted to garden furniture or are too heavy to be easily flipped over or blown by the wind.

Chimney Fires

There are a staggering 6,000 chimney fires in the UK each year.

  • Ensure your chimney is swept at least once a year and in advance of it being lit for the first time in the autumn.
  • If you have an open fireplace in your holiday home a fireguard should be provided for guests and be in place at all times; this will prevent damage to your carpet and sparks flying into areas in which they could ignite.
  • Make sure your wood or fuel source is kept in a dry and cool environment.
  • Consider removing any accelerants (commonly used for barbeques) from your holiday home during the winter.

Candle fires

Whilst candles can create a pleasant, romantic and cosy ambiance in your holiday home, their open flame does have the potential to quickly cause holiday home fires.

  • If you do have candles in your holiday home consider placing them in sturdy holders, with sides higher than the height of the flame.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and in a place in which they can’t be knocked over or disturbed.

A quick reminder!

When was the last time you checked your smoke / heat detectors?

Have you carried out an annual review of your Fire Risk Assessment?

Prevention of fire is the most effective way to ensure your holiday home is open for business and all of your visitors are safe.

If you have found this post on the most common causes of fire in holiday homes useful, you may also find the following posts for holiday let owners of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

clearing snow from holiday home path

The first signs of snow are often met with as much excitement as they are trepidation, but for holiday homeowners the falling of the white stuff brings with it a range of different issues and none more important than ensuring the safety of your guests.

To view our `Preparing your holiday home for snow’ infographic full size, click here.

You can view the full size interactive version of our `Preparing your holiday home for snow’ infographic by clicking here.

Top tips for preparing your holiday home for snow

Here’s our top tips for preparing your holiday home for snow and dealing with it effectively once it’s arrived.

Be prepared and take action

The majority of snow that falls in the UK will be accompanied with much fanfare on all weather forecasts. If snow is due in your area don’t wait until it’s too late; consider placing rock salt on the paths and walkways to your holiday home so there is clear access for visitors. This should include the entrance to any garages or where your guests will park their cars. Rock salt is available for a few pounds per 25kg bag from the large DIY stores and builders merchants.

clearing snow from holiday home path

You should also ensure drains and guttering are clear from blockages and able to cope with the increased levels of water when the snow melts.

Use rock salt rather than hot water

Whilst pouring warm or boiling hot water on snow will provide an immediate solution to any potential buildup, this water can quickly refreeze and cause treacherous icy conditions.

Rock salt is a far more suitable solution to dissipate or prevent the build up of snow. If rock salt isn’t available then sand or ash can also be used as an alternative, although they are not as effective at preventing refreezing in cold winter conditions.

Don’t block drains when moving snow

If you need to move snow away from pathways think carefully about where you place the snow being moved.

Blocked drains can often be the cause of significant damage to property. With the increased levels of water running through drainage systems once melting begins it is vital that these are free to take the upturn in water volume.

Ensure your own safety

If you are moving snow or taking measures to ensure your property is accessible make sure it is safe for you to do so.

It’s advisable to create a central path for yourself, from where you can work outwards on cleared land and thus avoiding shoveling snow from an unstable or slippery base.

Also beware that black ice could have formed underneath the snow. Consider placing salt on the pathway and returning to move any other snow later in the day, during daylight hours when temperatures are likely to be slightly higher and visibility greater.

Have you got guests in your holiday home?

If snow is forecast or has already fallen think carefully about how you communicate this with your guests. The more information you provide visitors with the better they will be able to handle the weather conditions.

For example, should they only be using the front entrance to your holiday home?

Are there any routes that they should be avoiding?

Are they fully aware of what to do if the pathways to your cottage become blocked or the facilities or items within your holiday home that would enable them to safely combat such situations?

Be as proactive as you can be in communicating the risks of snow to your guests, along with how they can be safely mitigated.

The after effects

It’s important to highlight that potential issues don’t disappear with the thawing of the snow. The heaviest snowfall often occurs between two and zero degrees centigrade. These conditions, when combined with increased water levels from melting and other winter weather can mean potentially longer lasting damage to your property and its surrounds.

Ensure that you check drains and guttering for any blockages or damage, and also that pathways are still in a safe condition once the snow has passed. You may also find the following posts on preventing slips and trips and burst pipes of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

New addition to our specialist holiday home insurance policy – Legionellosis Liability Cover

iStock_000026201276MediumWe are pleased to announce that when our holiday homeowners next renew their specialist holiday home insurance policy they’ll be benefiting from even more cover. We will now be providing public and products liability cover as standard, which will indemnify owners against accidental bodily injury caused by Legionellosis starting at £250,000 in any one period of insurance. Legionellosis cover is a welcome addition to our already comprehensive holiday home insurance policy.

As specialists in holiday home insurance we understand the industry and the unique insurance requirements of your business. We’re committed to providing holiday let homeowners across the country with a range of cover that meets your needs.

If you’re not familiar with Legionelllosis and how it can affect your guests here’s some more information for you… 

What is Legionellosis and how do you get it?

Legionellosis is the collective term for a group of diseases caused by legionella bacteria. The best known and most serious of these is Legionnaires’ disease, which is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. Whilst any of your guests could contract Legionnaires’ disease, certain groups of people visiting your holiday home will have increased levels of vulnerability.

These include:

  • People over the age of 45 years.
  • Smokers, heavy drinkers or those with impaired immune systems.
  • Individuals suffering from diabetes, heart, lung disease or other respiratory issues. 

The disease can not be passed from guest to guest as it is contracted by inhaling small water droplets suspended in the air, known as aerosols.  

Where will you find Legionella? 

Legionella bacteria are commonly found at low levels in natural water sources such as rivers, ponds and reservoirs, although it is unlikely someone will contract the disease in these conditions.

The risks of contraction are increased when the water is maintained at a temperature to encourage growth in the number of bacteria and where water may remain stored for a period of time.

In holiday homes the prime areas susceptible to infection will be hot and cold water systems, along with spa and hot tubs, where water may remain at a warm level and be present for a long period of time.

How do you prevent it? 

As a holiday homeowner you have a legal duty to ensure all water systems in your premises are properly operated and maintained to prevent Legionnaires’ disease or any other type of water-borne infection.  

The two most important factors for preventing an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease are:

  • Temperature – cold water should be stored and distributed below 20ºC (68ºF) and hot water heated to above 60ºC (140ºF), distributed at 50ºC (122ºF) or higher. If there is a risk of scalding such as with bath or shower taps then a thermostatic mixer tap should be fitted.
  • Hygiene – the water should be kept free of any impurities and never allowed to stagnate (which is when water loses its freshness by lack of movement). Good housekeeping will reduce the risks, such as flushing out infrequently used shower heads and taps at least weekly and cleaning and de-scaling shower heads and hoses at least quarterly.

A qualified and competent professional should carry out all water works within your holiday home. You should keep documentation of when your system was last checked, along with schedules for regular maintenance and review. 

If your holiday home includes a swimming pool, spa pool or hot tub system we’ve written these more in-depth post on controlling risks such as Legionellosis:

The Health and Safety Executive have produced useful guidance on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease.   

  • To read the Health and Safety Executives best practice advice on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease click here

If you have any questions or queries regarding the insurance cover you have in place or if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance please give one of our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

This article has been created as generic guidance for holiday home, cottage and holiday cottage complex owners and does not constitute legal or insurance advice. If you have any questions relating to health and safety management and the prevention of legionellosis at your holiday cottages you should take advice. 

Boshers are delighted to announce that we’re supporting Gas Safety Week (15th – 21st September)

Gas Safety Week

Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of the gas appliances in your home, holiday home or buy-to-let property.

It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.

Why are we supporting Gas Safety Week?

  • There were 219 reported gas safety incidents in the UK last year.
  •  343 people suffered injuries as a result of those incidents.

10 people died from gas accidents in 2013, with nine of those related to carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning is one of the most common causes of injury, accounting for nine of the 10 UK deaths in the past year.

As an invisible gas it can often be too late; the consequences of not being thorough and on top of gas safety in your holiday home can be fatal and tragic.

Checks for holiday home owners to complete at the end of the summer season 

  • Check your CO alarm

This should be checked on a regular basis and the batteries replaced. This also applies to systems that are hard wired to your holiday home, which will in most circumstances have back up battery power.

Keep a log of when you change batteries and inspect the alarm for future reference.

  • Where are your gas appliance instructions? 

Instructions to all gas appliances, including barbeques and your CO alarm, should be readily available and easy to find.  Ensure they’re still available for guests and that they are in a legible form and free from any damage incurred during the summer. 

  • Get your appliances inspected by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer

Any gas boiler or other gas appliance in your holiday home should undergo a gas safety check by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer every year.

The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances. By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register, which replaced CORGI registration.

Before any gas work is carried out always check the engineers ID card and make sure the engineer is qualified for the work you need doing.

You can find a local registered engineer by visiting www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500 and speaking to a Gas Safe advisor.

  • Review the way you communicate gas safety with your guests

Holiday homeowners are perhaps in a unique position, where they often live away from their property but have people regularly inhabiting their home and using their gas appliances.

Remember that the appliances in your holiday property will likely to be different to those that your visitors use in their own home. This means communication on how to use them safely is vital.

Be proactive; resolve any issues that have arisen from your procedures but don’t wait for incidents to happen. Always look to improve the way you communicate gas safety with your guests.

  • Ensure future checks are in place

The summer is an incredibly busy time for our property owners. With bookings, arrivals, change-overs and a multitude of other tasks on the to-do list things can fall through the cracks as there’s not enough hours in the day.

Make sure that you schedule your gas checks now to ensure they’re still a priority when things get busy.

We hope that you and your guests enjoyed a very good summer season and are already looking forward to the next!

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

*Please note that the list included within this article is not exhaustive.

Communicating Gas Safety to your Holiday Home Guests

Cooking surface and gasCarbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas produced by the incomplete burning of gas, liquid gas, oil, coal and wood. It has been the cause of 40 injuries and deaths in holiday accommodation across the UK in the past two years and is something that many visiting your holiday home are becoming more and more aware of.

Whilst visitors will fully understand the precautions and procedures they take to ensure gas safety is met in their own home, some may feel vulnerable or apprehensive when visiting holiday accommodation.

This provides an opportunity for holiday homeowners to be proactive in communicating the measures they’re undertaking to ensure their stay is completely safe and alleviate any fears or apprehension.

Communicating Gas Safety with your Holiday Home Guests

  • Ensure that your CO alarms are located in a suitable position within your holiday home. These may often be positioned next to fire alarms and in this case ensure that they are clearly labeled and can be told apart.
  • Instructions for use of the alarm should be readily available, in addition to information on when they were last checked and batteries replaced. A log should be kept of when checks are made to ensure you are aware of when they next need to be undertaken.
  • The gas appliances you provide in your holiday home are likely to be different to those your guests use in their own home.  Provide instructions for the safe use of appliances and make sure that they are easy for visitors to find. This information should also be provided in your welcome pack.
  • Any gas boiler or other gas appliance in your holiday home should undergo a gas safety check every year. After a Gas Safe Registered Engineer has carried out a safety check or serviced your gas appliance they may leave you with a report, which explains the checks they have completed. This can be left with your appliances or kept in a central location within the home to show guests the work that has been undertaken.
  • If your holiday home includes a gas BBQ for use during the summer months ensure that full instructions for safe use are clearly visible and communicated to your guests. This should include information on where the BBQ should be situated (in a well ventilated area), when and where it should be stored and the signs of any potential defects to the BBQ and its gas joints.
  • There are six key symptoms of CO poisoning; headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.  Signage highlighting the symptoms of poisoning along with the importance of vigilance surrounding gas safety for your guests is available from various charities and other gas safety organisations. These needn’t be obtrusive or compromise the visual aesthetics of your holiday home but will emphasise your commitment to gas safety.

For further information on ensuring your holiday home is gas safe please call the Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Guidance for owners of holiday cottages with a pets corner

Girl and Baby GoatsBritish agriculture has seen unbelievable change since the turn of the century. During that time somewhere in the region of 60 – 80% of farms have diversified in totality or looked to new avenues in order to sustain incomes and grow revenues.

From farm shops to organic produce or a multitude of other trades, farmers have utilised their buildings and land to their advantage. Many now turn their hand to the provision of accommodation in the form of holiday cottages and combine their agricultural roots with the hospitality sector by introducing a pets corner.

This experience can be particularly attractive for visiting families looking to give their children a slice of our glorious countryside.  The ability to feed a goat, to pet a young lamb in spring or learn more about a curious looking alpaca brings visitors in their droves to diversified farms across the country every year.

Combining your holiday cottages with a pets corner brings considerations about health and safety; creating the best possible environment in which children and adults alike are able to enjoy their break whilst minimising the chances of risk.

Whether you’re a holiday cottage with a few sheep at the end of the garden or a working farm it’s important to consider the following areas:

The risk: Micro-organisms

Animals naturally carry a range of micro-organisms which can be transmitted to humans. Some that you will have heard and be more familiar with such as E. coli can have a detrimental effect on health, causing a range of ailments and symptoms.

For this reason it’s important that you have control measures in place to minimise the risk of these organisms being transmitted to guests and causing illness. These measures should be regularly reviewed for effectiveness, with changes implemented as developments are made and required.

Decide on where you will offer access

Access to animals should be restricted and clearly signposted. Establish where guests will be able to see and visit stock and how you’ll prevent them from potentially accessing restricted areas, for example through fencing or warning signs.

Selecting your Routes

Contact with an environment contaminated with animal faeces is a key cause of the transmittance of micro-organisms with humans. For this reason you should if possible avoid directing visitors across tracks regularly used by stock and farm vehicles.  If this is unavoidable ensure that routes are cleaned and cleared on a regular and agreed basis.

Choosing the right animals

Animals that will be in contact with the public should be chosen carefully; stock that is young, pregnant, under stress or unfamiliar with dealing with people will be more likely to excrete mico-orgnisms and heighten the potential risk of transfer.

Keeping hands clean

Keeping hands clean is essential in minimising risks. Washing facilities should be readily available to visitors of all ages when leaving any area in which they have been touching animals, or could have come into immediate contact with them.  Signage should be in place to direct visitors to these facilities, along with information on the importance of using them.

Soap dispensers must be checked and refilled regularly. Whilst the frequency of checks will depend on the number of visitors you have, as a minimum these should be accessed at the beginning of each day the site is open.

The use of signage

Communicating the measures you’ve put in place with your visitors is vitally important. Information should be provided to guests on potential risks to health, precautions taken to minimise those risks and their own obligations in minimising risks (e.g. washing their hands).

Signage should be used to:

  • Clearly communicate designated routes, including those areas that are not open to the public.
  • Highlight the location and importance of using hand wash after any contact with animals. This should include stating the use of cleansing or anti bacterial wipes is not a substitute for proper hand washing.
  • Inform visitors to wash their hands prior to eating or using other facilities such as play areas, swimming pools or returning to their accommodation.
  • Establish areas that no petting or contact with animals is permitted

The Industry Code Of Practice

For full information on the health and safety advice and requirements please refer to The Industry Code of Practice “Preventing or Controlling Ill Health from Animal Contact at Visitor Attractions” which has been updated and is available to download here:

If you have a pets corner as an attraction for guests staying at your holiday cottages be sure to inform and take advice from your specialist holiday cottage complex insurance advisers.

For further information and a quotation for your holiday home insurance call our specialist team on 01237 429444.

This article has been created as generic guidance for holiday home, cottage and holiday cottage complex owners and does not constitute legal or insurance advice. If you have any questions relating to health and safety management and the provision of a pets corner at your holiday cottages, you should discuss them with your broker or insurer.

holiday home trampoline safety

holiday home trampoline safetyTrampolines and holiday homes, a fun combination or an accident waiting to happen? A fact many people won’t be aware of is that the lightest person on a trampoline is five times more likely to be injured. This happens through a phenomenon called “kipping”. This is where jumping at the same time causes the transfer of kinetic energy to the lightest person causing them to gain greater propulsive force and height. There’s an easy answer to prevent this, have a one at a time rule for your trampoline.

Whilst bumps and bruises are commonplace with the use of trampolines more serious fractures, neck and head injuries are not uncommon either. There are more than 10,000 trampoline related injures each year in the UK.

Many trampolines will be springing up across holiday home gardens in the next month or two. It’s vitally important for holiday home owners to effectively manage the risks. Whilst also allowing their visitors to enjoy the fun a trampoline can bring.

Providing your guests with clear guidance

Communicating with your guests on the safety surrounding your property and trampoline should be a vital element. Proactively managing the potential risks to your visitors demonstrates good practice.

Here are just a few points to be considering if you have a trampoline in your holiday home garden:

One at a time

  • On average 2.7 children are on a trampoline when an accident happens.  Allowing only one child at a time greatly reduces the potential for injuries.

The right trampoline for the right age 

  • Larger trampolines aren’t suitable for younger children and toddlers.  Always make sure you’ve consulted with the manufacturers guidance on the recommended age of use and ensure you’re visitors are aware.

Always supervise 

  • Whilst supervision doesn’t guarantee injury free play on a trampoline an adult should always be present and may be able to pick up on potential incidents before they occur.

Sensible dismount

  • One hospital has reported a third of the injuries they see are as a result of bouncing off the trampoline when dismounting.  Remember that although your trampoline should be placed on a soft surface such as wood chip or grass these can still be relatively unforgiving if dropping from a considerable height.

Somersaults

  • It can sometimes be tempting to push the boundaries and try new moves on a trampoline.  There have been incidents of serious neck and head injuries coming from children attempting somersaults on trampolines. It’s important to also let your visitors know that these moves shouldn’t be performed.

Stand back 

  • It it’s a child’s turn next on the trampoline make sure they’re kept a safe distance back from the trampoline whilst others are bouncing.

A trampoline can be a great asset for your holiday home. Being aware of the potential risks and having a proactive communication plan for your guests is important. This will increase the chances of injury free fun during those long summer evenings.

ROSPA Trampoline Guidance

For more information and guidance on trampoline safety please visit:

For further information and a quotation for your holiday home insurance call our specialist team on 01237 429444.

This article on trampolines and holiday homes has been created as generic guidance. It does not constitute legal or insurance advice. Do you have any questions relating to health and safety management and the provision of a trampoline for use by holiday letting guests? Discuss them with your broker or insurer and read the ROSPA guidance. 

holiday home trampoline

Top Trampoline Tips for Holiday Home Owners

For families on holiday a trampoline can be a desirable addition to your holiday home’s garden. Whilst bouncing up and down feet in the air will provide plenty of fun you’ll want to ensure you have the mechanisms in place to manage and minimize the risk of injuries to your visitors. One hospital recently reported that more than 100 children were admitted to their A&E during the summer months as a result of trampoline related injuries, many of which were sustained on trampolines without any netting or adult supervision. Our top trampoline tip is to seek the opinion of your holiday home insurance provider to ensure that they will extend liability cover for your paying guests to include the provision of a trampoline. holiday home trampoline

Top Trampoline Tips – Key Facts

  • There are more than 10,000 trampoline related injuries every year.
  • 75% of injuries happen when more than one person is on the trampoline, with the person lightest in weight 500% more likely to be injured.
  • Children under the age of six are most likely to be injured on a trampoline.

When buying your trampoline what do you need to look for?

No matter where you buy your trampoline, ensure it carries the CE or GS safety mark and that all of the springs are clearly covered by safety pads. The padding should be a different colour to the mat to make it clearly visible and if possible, look to invest in a design that includes netting so as to minimise the threat of visitors falling from the trampoline and sustaining injury.

Where to put your new trampoline

Early thought should be given as to where in your garden your trampoline should go and what size you’re able to fit in to this area. The trampoline when erected should have a safe and clear zone of at least 2.5 meters on all sides. This space should be free from trees, branches, fences, overhead cables or anything that could cause a hazard, including bicycles or other toys. Don’t be tempted to buy a trampoline larger than the size you can safely fit in your garden and ensure the manufacturers instructions are followed when you put it up and also when you take it down.

Finding the right ground

Your trampoline should ideally be placed on ‘soft energy-absorbing ground’ such as wood chip or soft grass.  Make sure you’re trampoline doesn’t span different types of ground and if you do have to place your trampoline on harder ground such as concrete or tarmac ensure there is always crash matting placed on the surrounding area to reduce the potential of injury from falling.

The importance of supervision

Whilst adult supervision is no guarantee of injury free play a spotter will often be able to greatly reduce the risk by picking up on potential issues before they arise. We recommend that our holiday home owners don’t have a trampoline in their garden unless they live adjacent to the property, such as would be the case for a holiday cottage complex, in order to not only manage risks during the summer months but also maintenance issues during the winter.

Maintaining your trampoline all year round

Whilst the number of bouncing children will increase greatly during the summer your trampoline will be with you all year and should be taken down during the winter and when not being used. This will avoid potential rusting and degrading of the quality of your trampoline, along with preventing it being blown away with the wind. There have been reported incidents of trampolines being blown in excess of 50 meters, causing large amounts of damage to properties and cars on the way. Ensure that your trampoline is dismantled and stored in line with the instructions provided by your manufacturer.

ROSPA Trampoline Guidance

For more information and guidance on trampoline safety please visit:

For more information on your holiday home insurance please get in touch with our dedicated team on 01237 429444. 

This article has been created as generic guidance for holiday home, cottage and holiday cottage complex owners and does not constitute legal or insurance advice. If you have any questions relating to health and safety management and the provision of a trampoline for use by holiday letting guests you should discuss them with your broker or insurer.