Frequently Asked QuestionsYour health & safety

Our guide to balconies and fire safety

By May 11, 2020 No Comments

Fire Safety

If a fire breaks out on your balcony it could spread much faster than a fire inside your building. This is because inside buildings there are walls and doors that can contain a fire and a limited supply of oxygen to keep the fire burning. Whereas outside, there is an unlimited supply of oxygen and a fire can quickly be blown by the wind, spreading it upwards and outwards and putting balconies or flats above you at risk.
Fire hazards on balconies range from smoking and carelessly discarded cigarettes, to using patio heaters, barbeques and storing combustible items. All these create a higher risk of fire.

What you are NOT allowed to do on a balcony

You MUST not:
× Use a barbeque (falling embers from a BBQ can burn items on your balcony and others around you)
× Use a patio (outdoor) heater (gas or electric) or a flame pit
× Store gas cylinders (or any item containing flammable liquid)
× Use fireworks or indoor fireworks
× Install reed fencing or other combustible screening
× Dispose of a cigarette by flicking it over the side of the building

How to reduce the risk of fire on a balcony

  • If you smoke always fully extinguish cigarettes by using an ashtray or bucket with water or sand in to dispose of cigarettes safely.
  • Do not store any (flammable) items on your balcony that might catch fire
  • You should keep items on your balcony to a minimum by removing any rubbish and combustible items like furniture, timber, decorating materials, children’s plastic toys and other clutter. This helps to prevent flames spreading
  • Never use BBQs (including disposable ones) on your balcony. They pose a fire risk which could easily spread to other homes.

If a fire breaks out on your balcony, it could spread much faster than a fire inside your building. Ideally, you should keep your balcony completely clear (although plants and a few items of patio furniture are OK).

  • Do not store BBQ fuel (such as gas cylinders or starter fuel) or any other flammable substances on your balcony.
  • White/electrical goods (such as fridges and tumble dryers) must not be stored on balconies. They are not suitable for outdoor use and could start a fire.
  • Do not drop cigarettes over the side of your balcony – they could cause a fire on balconies below you. If you smoke on your balcony, use an ashtray and dispose of smoking materials as carefully as you would do indoors.