With the arrival of summer and warmer weather, many of us are eager to enjoy outdoor activities and fire up the BBQ. However, a concerning trend has emerged in recent years that poses a serious fire hazard – barbecues on balconies. At BNS, we prioritise the safety of residential and commercial properties, and want to raise awareness about the risks associated with balcony barbecues.
The Growing Concern
In response to the alarming increase in balcony barbecues, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) has voiced its concerns, prompting online retail giant Amazon to remove products marketed as ‘balcony barbecues’ from its platform. The LFB and the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) have emphasised the devastating impact that fires caused by these products can have if incidents occur.
NFCC Balcony Fire Safety Advice
The NFCC strongly advises against the use of any barbecues on balconies, even those specifically marketed for such use. Merely having extinguishers nearby is insufficient and irresponsible, as it goes against national advice to never attempt to tackle a fire on your own. Furthermore, the NFCC discourages the use of other products such as firepits, patio heaters, chimineas, and fireworks on balconies.
Protective Measures and Best Practices
To ensure the safety of your property and the surrounding environment, it is crucial to follow these recommended guidelines:
- Discard cigarettes and smoking materials responsibly: Never dispose of them on or over the balcony. Instead, use a sturdy ashtray containing a small amount of water to ensure complete extinguishment.
- Avoid balcony storage: Balconies should not be used as storage areas, particularly for flammable or hazardous materials such as gas cylinders. This reduces the risk of fire incidents.
- No white goods on balconies: It is advised not to store or use appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, or other white goods on balconies, as they can be potential fire hazards.
- Fireworks and sky lanterns: Never use or set off fireworks or sky lanterns from a balcony. These activities pose a significant risk to both property and public safety.
- Balcony modifications: Do not make any modifications to your balcony that involve installing combustible screening or materials. These alterations can exacerbate fire hazards.
BNS Health and Safety Services
At BNS, we understand the importance of proactive property management and prioritise the safety of residents, tenants and owners. Our comprehensive health and safety services are designed to assess and mitigate risks associated with fire, ensuring compliance with regulations and creating secure environments.
From fire risk assessments to safety training and emergency planning, our expert team is equipped to support residential and commercial properties of all sizes in Bristol and the surrounding areas in the South West of England, and Wales.
As we embrace the joys of summer, let’s remember to prioritise fire safety and avoid the use of barbecues on balconies. By adhering to the NFCC’s advice and taking preventive measures, we can help protect our properties and communities from devastating fires.
At BNS, we are committed to providing professional health and safety services to promote secure living and working environments. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your property’s safety needs this summer and beyond.