The growth of home-sharing rental properties is causing fire safety concerns, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has told BBC Radio 5 live Investigates.
Tourism industry leaders said a "Grenfell-style incident" could happen unless inspections were enforced.
MPs have called for all properties used for short-term lets to be registered.
The Short Term Accommodation Association said hosts are "strongly recommended" to follow safety guidance.
An NFCC spokesperson said fire and rescue services are "not aware" of how many short-term rental properties are operating in local areas, making it "very difficult" to assess potential risk.
They added: "Without this knowledge of properties essentially operating as a bed and breakfast or hotel, it is almost impossible to carry out an inspection or give owners relevant advice to ensure their buildings are safe."
Fire safety law applies to all properties in which people are paying to stay.
In 2017, a flat rented out on Airbnb in Plymouth was called a "deathtrap" after a fire inspection discovered it had toxic tiles, faulty locks and a fire extinguisher that had not been tested for more than 15 years.
The owner was given a six-month suspended sentence. The property was taken off Airbnb, and has since been blocked from returning.
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Source: BBC News England