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As Family Vacations Resume, CPSC Warns of Safety Hazards in Vacation Rental Homes

Release Date: July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, millions of Americans are traveling this summer. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to look for critical safety features when staying in vacation rental homes.

Travelers should make sure their vacation rental home has smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, in addition to pool safety and home elevator safety features, if applicable.

Among the most important safety tips for traveling consumers are the following:

Fire Safety

  • Check for adequate smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
    • Smoke alarms should be on every level of the home, outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.
    • Carbon monoxide alarms should be on every level of the home outside sleeping areas.
  • Make sure there is a fire extinguisher in the home.
  • Have a fire escape plan (providing two ways out each room).

Child Safety

  • Avoid deadly furniture and TV tip-overs; don’t let children climb on furniture, and don’t place toys and remotes where children might be tempted to climb up to reach for them.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet or out of reach of children.
  • Keep all window cords out of reach of children.
  • Keep baby’s sleep space free from pillows and blankets, and use cribs that meet CPSC safety standards.
  • Even when traveling, ensure that baby sleeps in a flat crib or play yard with a well-fitting sheet.
  • Check to be sure none of the child or infant products in a vacation rental are subject to a recall. If they are, do not use them, and notify the property or rental manager.

Pool Safely

At vacation rental homes with pools:

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near water, and always designate an adult Water Watcher. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone or otherwise be distracted.
    • Child drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four years old.
  • There should be an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool.
  • Pools and spas should be surrounded by a fence at least four feet high with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Pools and spas should have drain covers that meet federal standards; consumers can ask property or rental managers for confirmation.
  • Life-saving equipment, such as life rings or reaching poles, should be available for use.
  • Make sure kids learn to swim.
  • Keep children away from pool drains.
  • Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.

Home Elevator Safety

At vacation rental homes with elevators:

  • Be aware of a deadly gap (greater than 4 inches deep) that may exist between the interior and exterior doors of home elevators.
    • Children, from ages 2 through 16, have been crushed to death in this gap. In some incidents, children have suffered multiple skull fractures, fractured vertebrae, traumatic asphyxia and other horrific and lifelong injuries. 
  • Lock the elevator so that it cannot be accessed by children; or lock all exterior (hoistway) doors to the elevator.
  • Don’t let children play with or around residential elevators.
    • Residential elevators were linked to 4,600 injuries and 22 deaths from 1981 through 2019. 

Related poster:

NSN Poster – Take Safety With You

For more information, contact Nicolette Nye at or at 240-204-4410.

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

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