Information for Holiday Home Owners Supplying BBQ’s to Guests

Lobster and Salmon Veggie Skewers.June 2014 was one of the warmest and driest in the past decade, worthy of a blog on BBQ Safety for Holiday Home Owners. Whilst in recent times the words ‘barbecue summer’ have become somewhat synonymous with an unfortunate Met Office prediction of a return to the summer sunshine of yester years only to be followed by one of the wettest summers on record.

As we all begin to flock to the end of the garden, desperately trying to take up a position in which we aren’t bellowed by wind driven charcoal smoke, what about your guests?

If you provide a BBQ for those visiting your holiday home its important to ensure it’s use is included within your risk assessment and also well communicated to guests.

Here are a few things for you to consider on BBQ safety for holiday home owners and to communicate to those enjoying your holiday let property:

General BBQ Safety for Holiday Home Owners – When was the last time you checked your Holiday Home BBQ?

  • It’s vital to make sure that your holiday home BBQ is checked on a regular basis, and that these checks are carried out more frequently during periods of heightened use.
  • Many holiday home owners will have play equipment such as trampolines in their garden.  It’s important that there is adequate space between these areas and where your BBQ is situated.
  • If your BBQ is usually stored inside, clearly indicate to visitors that it should have cooled completely and cleaned before being stored. Fires can often be started from the embers of a BBQ that has not been sufficiently cooled or extinguished and if they are allowed to continue to burn in a confined space poisonous carbon monoxide can build up and potential kill you or your guests.
  • Hot charcoal should never be thrown out immediately after a BBQ as the heat can melt plastic and cause fires.

The frustrations of getting the BBQ going – getting charcoal cooking

  • BBQ’s take time and preparation. In a world in which our fan oven can quickly reach 200 Celcius within minutes, it can at times seem frustrating waiting for your charcoal to reach cooking temperatures.

This can lead to the temptation of adding more charcoal to the fire or using accelerants in order to quicken the pace of the process. Guests should only use enough charcoal to cover the base of the BBQ and should never use accelerants such as petrol in order to fuel the fire.

  • If your BBQ set included things such as lighters these should only be used on cold coals and also kept well out of the reach of children in your holiday home.

Keeping your holiday home guests safe with gas

  • If you supply a gas BBQ for use by your guests this will pose different risks and safety procedures. You should first ensure that your gas cylinders and BBQ are kept in an appropriate place. This should be an area that is not tightly confined and be clearly designated as out of bounds for young guests.
  • Whilst we all hope for a long BBQ summer you should avoid keeping more gas than is necessary at your holiday home.
  • Guests should be encouraged to change cylinders outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. They should also ensure the tap is fully turned off before making any change.
  • If a gas leak is suspected try brushing soapy water around the joint or pipe.  If there is an issue bubbles will be visible. Tighten to fix any potential joint but avoid over tightening.
  • Guests should be encouraged to report any defaults or defects to your gas BBQ. It should also be checked by someone with the competent skills and experience on a regular basis. Have your gas BBQ serviced annually and safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer with the appropriate LPG endorsement.

For further information or if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance call our team on 01237 429444.



clean holiday home

clean holiday home

Although your holiday home will have a thorough clean at every changeover, overtime dirt, grime and dust can gradually build up in those hard to reach areas affecting the natural aroma of your property.

Dazzling your guests with a sparkling holiday home that smells clean and fresh will encourage them to treat it with respect and tell others about their great stay.

A clean holiday home is a safe holiday home

A clean holiday home is a safe holiday home and just maybe these 10 steps to revive your holiday homes interior will help you put that extra sparkle back as well as keeping you and your guests’ safe.

  1. Working from the top down – dust first, then vacuum using a model with a clean HEPA filter, this will reduce allergy causing carpet mites.
  2. Pull your furniture away – from walls and move beds away from where they stand to allow access to wash and vacuum the walls, carpets and furniture backs as appropriate.
  3. Gather the dust with a radiator brush – use radiator brushes to clean dust from inside double radiators and behind them.
  4. Steam clean and your upholstery will gleam – your upholsteries every 6 months, this includes, curtains, sofas etc
  5. Deep clean your carpets every six months to ensure they are kept fresh and wash walls, skirting and architraves
  6. Shine up those shower doors – rubbing a teaspoon of lemon oil on glass shower doors twice a month causes water to bead up and roll off.
  7. Don’t let the bathroom mould get a hold – scrub away black mould from baths, showers, sinks, walls, ceilings and sanitary ware. Replace silicone sealant where necessary. Reduce condensation by supplying a window squeegee for your guests to remove excess water from shower cubicles and screens and regularly clean your bathroom extractor fan grille to maintain its efficiency.
  8. Make those windows sparkle – clean the insides of your windows regularly, and at least twice a year open them and clean inside the frames. Mould can build up inside the openings, especially on UPVC window frames in humid coastal areas.
  9. Don’t let the bed bugs bite – Use mite resistant covers on mattresses, duvets, pillow cases and cushion covers. Periodically place cushions and pillows in plastic bags, squeeze as much air out as possible to reduce the volume and place them in a freezer for 48 hours, this will kill any mites that have made themselves at home in your furnishings.
  10. A clean kitchen is a safe kitchen – Remove all cutlery, crockery and pans from kitchen units. Deep clean inside of units. Check contents for chips, cracks, dents, loose handles and replace as necessary. Deep clean the oven, pans and grill. Replace extractor hood filters at least annually.

Last chance for holiday home owners to comment on new holiday let rules. New rules on furnished holiday lets will make it more difficult to let certain properties, reduce the number available and act as a barrier to new entrants to the industry. That is the verdict of a Westcountry expert on holiday lettings who is urging affected businesses to express their concerns to Government before consultation on the new rules ends next week (February 9).

John Endacott, tax partner at accountants Winter Rule in Truro and a prominent commentator on the issue of furnished holiday lets, said the revised rules would lead to significant changes in the industry.

They say that holiday lets must be available to let for 205 days in a year (up from 140) and actually let for 105 days in a year (up from 70), which could see more marginal properties in less popular areas fail to qualify. The Government is also tightening up on the ability to offset trading losses against profits, something which Mr Endacott said could deter new entrants to the industry trying to let properties with no letting record. He said: “I’ve no doubt that these new rules will result in consolidation in the industry because the lettings targets are going to be onerous for some owners and planning restrictions may actually prevent some properties from meeting the 210 day requirement.

“The new regime around trading losses is also very restrictive and means it will take a very long time to get tax relief on start-up losses. That will be a barrier to new entrants and high investment into single units does not look like a good business model.”

Mr Endacott said the new rules would probably lead to more owners with greater numbers of furnished holiday lets, but he was hopeful that owner-occupiers of holiday let complexes may be exempt. He added: “Winter Rule will be making further representations to the Government before next week’s deadline so if anyone wants to get in touch they can email me at”