Fire risk on balconies

In recent years there have been a number of serious fires on the balconies of homes across the country.

Fire risk on balconies can be increased by the use of balconies for storage of combustible materials (things that would burn in a fire). Following new advice from the London Fire Brigade we’d like you to remove anything combustible from your balcony and take extra care to make sure cigarettes or any other smoking materials are completely extinguished. 

BBQ's should not be used on balconies under any circumstances. A number of recent fires in and around London have been caused by:

  • Falling embers burning items on the ground below
  • BBQ’s being close to other flammable objects
  • Disposable barbecues being left unattended after use
  • The risks are increased by the fact that wind speeds are stronger at a greater height.
  • The position of a BBQ on a balcony and/or the layout of balconies can also affect ease of escape for building occupants.

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) says that of 89 barbecue fires it dealt with in the summer of 2013, 7% involved balconies. The LFB reported a further seven fires involving barbecues on balconies in the 12 months up to March 2014.

However, barbecues are not the only potential balcony hazard. Fire pits, patio heaters and smoking all pose additional risks. In April, Essex Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning about the dangers of patio heaters, after four people were hurt when a device exploded in Basildon.

To find out more about fire safety in communal areas please read this guide from the London Fire Brigade