• 02/04/2024

Balcony fire safety: a shared responsibility


At Hightown, your safety is our top priority. We understand that balconies are a cherished space for many of our residents living above ground. However, it’s also crucial to recognise the potential fire hazards associated with balconies.

In recent years, balcony fires have become a serious concern for Fire & Rescue Services across the country, with more than 550 incidents reported in London alone.

If a fire breaks out on a balcony, it can spread quickly due to the abundance of oxygen and the absence of barriers like walls and doors, which typically help contain indoor fires. The wind can swiftly carry flames upwards and outwards, endangering neighbouring balconies and flats.

Several factors contribute to balcony fire hazards, including smoking, improper disposal of cigarettes, use of electrical appliances, BBQs, and storage of combustible materials. To help keep you, your families, and your neighbours safe, please follow these guidelines:

Prohibited items and activities on balconies:

  1. No storage of combustible items: Avoid storing sheds, wooden furniture, screening, rubbish, fuel, gas cylinders or flammable liquids on your balcony.
  2. Safe smoking: Always extinguish cigarettes in proper ashtrays and do not throw them over the balcony railings.
  3. No barbecues or patio heaters: Using barbecues or outdoor heaters on balconies poses a significant fire risk.
  4. No fireworks: The use of fireworks on balconies is strictly prohibited.
  5. Avoid hanging items over railings: Do not hang clothing, rugs, or mats over the balcony railings, as they can easily catch fire or obstruct emergency access.
  6. Secure items from falling: Ensure that items placed on the balcony are secured and cannot fall off, posing a risk to those below.
  7. Supervise children: Never leave young children unsupervised on balconies.

If you currently have combustible or flammable materials on your balcony, we urge you to remove them promptly. As responsible landlords, we are committed to mitigating fire safety risks within blocks of flats. Therefore, we will take action to address any concerns regarding combustible storage to safeguard all residents.

For residents with balconies with any enquiries, please contact our repairs team on 01442 292301, contact your property services inspector or housing officer on 01442 292300.