Fire Safety Guidance Note: Fires involving balconies in residential premises.

Posted on the 29th October 2020

Keniston works closely with its partners the London Fire Brigade and as a result we are regularly provided with any information that is relevant for us and our residents.

We are in receipt of this document LFB fire safety balconies Oct 20, however, key areas for residents to note are as follows:

Balconies may sometimes be used to store items of furniture or electrical appliances, which has in some cases contributed to the fire or has been the cause of the fire. The majority of these type of incidents have occurred in purpose-built blocks of flats where the balcony is private.

Key causes of balcony fires were:

  • Smoking materials 67%
  • Lighters at 10%
  • Matches10%
  • Barbecues 7%

Taking steps to prevent this problem

  • There is a need for both landlords and residents to minimise the risk of fires on balconies. In particular, residents should keep storage on balconies to a minimum in order to reduce the fuel load.
  • The use of BBQs on balconies is not permitted.
  • It is the responsibility of landlords to inform residents of the risks associated with the presence of combustible materials on balconies. This includes the use of barbecues, flammable materials and smoking; as this increases the risk of fire and fire spread. It also includes the monitoring of storage on balconies by residents in order to reduce fire load and potential ignition sources.
  • Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Order) there is a requirement for landlords to manage the premises to ensure the safety of residents and staff in the common areas and escape routes in the event of a fire.

What am I required to do as a Resident?

  • Residents should not hinder the landlord in managing the property.
  • Residents should not store combustible materials, including white goods or use barbecues and potential ignition sources on their balconies.
  • Residents with concerns about the fire safety of their premises should contact their landlord in the first instance. They should be able to provide them with information on fire safety of the building and how this is being managed. Landlords should respond promptly to any such requests.

If residents are unable to obtain fire safety information, or believe their concerns are not being addressed appropriately, then there is information on the government website about organisations who can provide support at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-safety-programme-other-fire-safety-concerns

There are some interesting case studies shown in the full document about how quickly fire can spread and the damaged caused.

General fire safety advice can be obtained from the London Fire Brigade website: Follow link https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/

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