10th Jun 2021
Summer is here and what is the most defining thing of British Summertime? BBQs of course! When the sun is out a BBQ is very tempting to almost everyone, as we all want to make the most of the beautiful weather. If you own a house this is not a problem. For those living in a flat and those lucky enough to have a balcony, you may be tempted to have the BBQ out there, but there are a few things to consider before you start having balcony BBQs.
What are the dangers?
Everyone knows how dangerous fires are and every summer a balcony BBQ goes wrong. Almost every year Firefighters need to remind people of the dangers. There have been more than 550 balcony fires across London in the last three years.
These types of fires are extremely dangerous, and they can easily spread to neighbouring flats and can result in catastrophic damage. This is due to many balconies have combustible materials as part of their construction, and there are often combustible items stored in outside spaces, so if a fire starts, it can spread quickly. Wind can also fan or carry smouldering ignition sources such as cigarettes and embers from barbecues to lower or adjacent balconies.
What is your balcony made of?
First and most obvious, is your balcony made of wood? This should go without saying, of course, but if you’re planning to BBQ on a wooden balcony then you’re planning a potential disaster. BBQs produce heat and, more than likely, fire. Fire plus wood equals more fire.
Is it legal?
There is no specific law against having a barbecue on your balcony, but you are highly advised against having one.
However, if you live in an apartment building the management have a right to make rules prohibiting BBQs on balconies for safety reasons.
Most leases prohibit the use of BBQs on balconies. Even if your lease doesn’t specifically prohibit BBQs, is very likely, however, to contain a general clause stating that you cannot cause a nuisance to the other residents in the building or adjoining properties. We would always advise against the use of balcony BBQs, due to the potential danger to you and other occupiers within the block, regardless of the type of construction of the balcony.
If you’re thinking of having a BBQ on your balcony, don’t!
You may think it it’s a good idea at the time but the risks highly outweigh the benefits. If you live in a flat and fancy a BBQ our advice is to go and visit a friend or family member who has a garden!
Here’s some balcony safety tips from the London Fire Brigade:
- Never barbecue on your balcony – embers could carry and set light to your or your neighbours balcony and possessions
- It’s better not to smoke at all, but if you do, always ensure your cigarette is always properly put out and never throw it over the side as it could catch light to possessions on a balcony below or next to yours
- Try not to store combustible items on your balcony as they could catch alight