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Airbnb says it’s ‘really difficult’ to enforce carbon monoxide standards

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said it was “very difficult” to enforce certain safety measures, like carbon monoxide detectors, in all listings around the world.

Chesky’s comments came during an interview on NBC Nightly News, scheduled to air Sunday. NBC said Chesky would discuss a series of challenges facing his multibillion-dollar company.

NBC reported in November 2023 that there had been 19 deaths at Airbnb properties linked to carbon monoxide poisoning. Airbnb responded to the first deaths in 2014 by saying it would require carbon monoxide detectors in all of its listings, but that has not yet been done, the outlet said.

While Airbnb has tackled issues like indoor security cameras by banning them outright, Chesky said in Sunday’s interview that combatting carbon monoxide poisoning is a bigger hurdle. difficult.

“It’s very difficult to verify whether or not a property has a carbon monoxide detector, but we work very, very hard to make sure every property has a verified address,” he said.

Airbnb image from Getty Images

Airbnb does not have a carbon monoxide detector mandate.

SOPA Images/Getty Images

He added: “It’s really difficult to impose things in 220 countries, regions and cities all over the world, and if you impose something you have to have a mechanism to check that it’s happening. »

Airbnb has 7.7 million listings worldwide and 5 million hosts. The company says that as of December last year, it had welcomed some 1.5 billion customers. As Airbnb is a global company, it must comply with various carbon monoxide laws and regulations.

When asked if Airbnb was “moving away” from this mandate because it may not be “realistic,” Chesky said combating carbon monoxide poisoning and strengthening detectors remained a priority.

“There’s a very good question: ‘Is a mandate the right approach?'” Chesky said. “But what is absolutely the right approach is to make sure that every ad is safe. Every person is safe.”

Airbnb began offering free carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors to hosts in 2014. Chesky also said Airbnb provides travel information to guests visiting “high-risk” areas.

Airbnb representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.


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