Award-winning British bed manufacturer Hypnos has pledged its support for proposed regulations to ensure properties advertised on home exchange sites, such as Airbnb, meet appropriate fire safety standards.
Home exchange websites allow users to list, find and rent properties or spare rooms across the globe. Such websites have seen a huge growth over the past year, with an increasing number of guests opting for short-term properties available on online marketplaces, rather than regulated hotels and serviced apartments.
However Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) recently advised a House of Commons committee that home exchange websites are enabling professional landlords to operate on an industrial scale, avoiding fire safety regulations that commercial properties must legally adhere to, therefore putting guests at risk.
John Woolley, managing director at Hypnos Contract Beds Limited, echoed the concerns of the industry: “The possibility of a fire breaking out in a property is something that any property owner needs to prepare for and take steps to reduce the risk. It’s therefore crucially important that products, such as furniture and bedding, have certain levels of protection against fire to ensure guest’s safety and keep them protected.
“Although properties may not be listed as hotels or serviced apartments by name, the reality is that in circumstances where landlords continuously rent out their properties to guests, questions should be raised around the regulations they adhere to and if it does in fact count as a commercial property.
“Ultimately, the strict requirements that are in place for commercial properties are there to protect guests. For properties unofficially acting as hotels and serviced apartments, it’s important that there is legislation in place to protect users who may unknowingly be putting themselves in danger.”
In the UK, fire safety requirements for domestic upholstered furniture are well established, having been in place since 1989. However fire retardant regulations for furniture used in a commercial environment are far more stringent. In a commercial setting, there is a legal requirement to ensure all mattresses, beds and sofa beds meet strict UK and EU fire regulatory standards. This includes meeting the Crib 5 BS6807 standard which guarantees that a product has been specifically tested for high resistance to ignition. Every single bed that complies with this rigorous standard will clearly display the fire retardancy Source 5 (Crib 5) label.
And more recently, the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) has developed a new ‘fire standard’ specifically for contract beds. The new standard looks to enhance the BS EN1725 test methods currently used for domestic beds, reflecting the fact that beds used in the hospitality market are subject to far more rigorous use.
Hypnos Contract Beds Limited specialises in engineering beds for the hospitality sector. Its products meet high standards of fire, bed bug and hygiene protection, as well as offering an unrivalled level of durability and sublime comfort.
For more information about Hypnos, please contact www.hypnoscontractbeds.co.uk