Ward, Hayden

Grill and Chill: Summer Vacation Rental Safety

summer safety tips for vacation rentals

Summertime is synonymous with enjoying the great outdoors, and a time when short-term property owners open their homes as the ultimate retreat for guests. Whether your property has a fire pit, grill, or pool, summer fun requires remembering that safety comes first. Allow your guests to grill and chill with ease all while protecting your property.

Here are the Top Summer Safety Tips:


Summer is a time when hamburgers and hotdogs are sizzling on the grill! Let’s face it, backyard BBQs are some of the most nostalgic memories people have, especially around the 4th of July. Ensuring everyone’s safety is top of mind when flipping kabobs. Just a little food for thought … when you grill, you are literally playing with fire. 

The National Fire Prevention Association says, “On average, 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling each year.” Follow these simple steps to help prevent your guests or home from getting severely burned. 

  • Keep the grill at least three feet away from your property and spaced well away from deck railings, shrubs, or overhanging tree branches. 
  • Clean out the grill after each guest and check for any potential risks.
  • Create a detailed guide for the grill that is easily accessible for your guests.


Fire Pits

There is nothing like gathering around a cozy fire pit at the end of a long day and roasting s’mores with friends and family. Ensure safe practices for your guests by taking preventive measures.

  • Make sure the ground is level for portable fire pits.
  • Check with your neighborhood or city to make sure you are in ordinance with your fire pit. Many communities suggest keeping your fire pit a minimum of 10 feet away from buildings and homes. 
  • Do not place your fire pit underneath low-hanging branches or decks.
  • Avoid using soft woods like cedar so there are no sparks flying.
  • Light up the area around the fire pit so people are still able to see where they are walking. This can be easily achieved by hanging LED string lights around the fire pit seating area.

Don’t forget to include all fire pit directions in your guests’ welcome manual. List everything from where to pull wood and how to carefully dispose of the ashes once used. And in case of a fire, keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.  


Scan your backyard for any possible hazards you may see. Here’s a guide to help you spot potential obstacles that could cause unforeseen risks. 

1. Install a fence with a strong lock. Having a fence barrier keeps children and pets from wandering outside the property. It also helps lessen the chances of an intruder on your property. 

2. If you have pet doors, make sure they are locked before guests arrive. It is important to lock your pet doors to avoid small children or unwanted animals crawling through them. 

3. Mow and tend to your lawn. Keep up with your pruning, weeding, and fertilizing. Having a well-kept lawn can reduce bugs, snakes, and damage to your home’s foundation. Just make sure to store your gardening tools away safely when finished.

4. Inspect your lawn for uneven ground. Take the time to fill in holes to lessen the chances of a fall or twisted ankle.

5. If you have a play set, make sure it is secured and cleaned. It is best to place playgrounds on level ground on top of a soft, cushiony material like wood chips. After each guest, make sure to walk around the play set and inspect for loose screws, wood rot, rust, or large openings. 

6. Waterproof and repair your deck. If you have a deck or patio in your backyard, make sure it is well-kept and hasn’t been warped from the weather. Waterproof your deck every three years to avoid major warping. 

7. Clean and repair any backyard furniture. Scan over any backyard furniture for loose screws, rust, and splintering wood. A good tip is to keep any fabric furniture pillows underneath a protective cover when guests are not at the property. This helps keep your furniture in good condition and prevents the sun from discoloring fabric.

Pools and Hot Tubs

While pools and hot tubs are often seen as the highlight and draw to summer, without careful precautions they can be very dangerous. It is crucial to have a list of rules posted around your property and easily accessible for guests. Whether it be placed in the welcome book or an actual metal sign near the body of water, make certain the appropriate signage is clear and viewable. 

To keep unwanted guests out, be sure your pool or hot tub is fenced in. To view more safety precautions to take while opening your pool, click here to read our post on it.

Bugs and Poisonous Plants

When landscaping your property, take pride in deadheading weeds and pruning rough hedges. When you are opening your home to others, it is best to evaluate your plants, shrubs, and flowers you are growing around your house. You may be surprised that they could be poisonous if eaten or attract an unwanted animal. 

If your home has the ultimate outdoor summer setup, it may be wise to place a few defensive plants to act as a citronella candle and help repel bugs. Rosemary, the simple and versatile herb, is actually known to help prevent mosquitoes. Lavender, citronella grass, marigolds, catnip, basil, and geraniums are also excellent plants to grow to keep annoying mosquitoes away. Place these near doorways or outdoor seating where guests are frequent. 

Be on the lookout for any bee or wasp nests on your property. Don’t let your guests get stung while walking through your front door. Call a pest control company if you are nervous about removing them yourself.

Safety First

Don’t let summer sizzle the fun out of your short-term rental with injuries or property damage. Be on top of any potential risks that can occur. Take some time to walk around and reacquaint yourself with your property while looking for potential hazards. And don’t forget to ensure that you, your property and your income are covered. Request a free quote today!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.