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  4. In response to a string of deaths, Airbnb CEO says it's 'really hard' to make hosts install carbon monoxide detectors

In response to a string of deaths, Airbnb CEO says it's 'really hard' to make hosts install carbon monoxide detectors

Lauren Edmonds   

In response to a string of deaths, Airbnb CEO says it's 'really hard' to make hosts install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky spoke to NBC News in an interview set to air on Sunday.
  • Chesky said it is "hard" to enforce a carbon monoxide mandate across 220 countries and regions.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said enforcing certain safety measures, like carbon monoxide detectors, across all listings worldwide is "very hard."

Chesky's comments came during an interview on NBC Nightly News, which is scheduled to air on Sunday. NBC said Chesky will discuss a range of challenges facing his multibillion-dollar company.

NBC reported in November 2023 that there had been 19 deaths on Airbnb properties related to carbon monoxide poisoning. Airbnb responded to the initial deaths in 2014 by asserting it would mandate carbon monoxide detectors in all its listings but that's yet to happen, the outlet said.

While Airbnb has tackled issues like indoor security cameras with outright bans, Chesky said during Sunday's interview that addressing carbon monoxide poisoning has been a tougher obstacle.

"It is very hard to verify whether or not a property has a carbon monoxide detector, but we're working really, really hard to make sure that every single property has a verified address," he said.

He added: "It's really hard to mandate things in 220 countries and regions and cities all over the world, and then if you mandate something, you have to have a mechanism to verify that it happens."

Airbnb has 7.7 million listings worldwide and 5 million hosts. The company says that — as of December last year — it has hosted some 1.5 billion guests. Since Airbnb is a global company, it must adhere to various carbon monoxide laws and regulations.

When asked if Airbnb is "walking away" from that mandate because it may not be "realistic," Chesky said tackling carbon monoxide poisoning and enforcing detectors is still a priority.

"There's a really good question about, 'Is a mandate the right approach?'" Chesky said. "But what is absolutely the right approach is to make sure that every single listing is safe. Every single person is safe."

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

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


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