Fire Service responds to two balcony fires and urge residents to stay safe

Date published: 05 April 2021

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging residents to use balconies safely and to never BBQ on balconies after two fires already during the recent warm weather.

Firefighters were called to two incidents on balconies last week.

The first saw crews attend a flat on Ludgate Hill, Manchester where a disposable BBQ had been placed directly on to a wooden balcony flooring.

Luckily, the fire was quickly extinguished, and firefighters gave the resident fire safety advice.

Another saw five fire engines and an aerial ladder platform attended a fire on the balcony of a second floor flat on Chapeltown Street in Manchester.

Firefighters used one hose reel to extinguish the fire and were at the scene for around 30 minutes.

It is suspected that the fire was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette which caused a fire involving wooden garden furniture on the balcony.

GMFRS Head of Prevention, Area Manager Paul Duggan said: “As we are experiencing some nicer weather in Greater Manchester it is really important that residents of flats are aware of fire safety when they use their balconies.

“We were fortunate that there were no injuries at the incidents we attended and that we were able to quickly bring them under control and stop any further spread.

“This is a timely reminder that residents of flats should never have BBQs on their balconies and should be particularly careful on their balconies if they smoke.

“We want people to enjoy themselves at home when the weather is nice but please do so carefully.”

To reduce the risk of fire on a balcony:

Do not use BBQs under any circumstances

Never store flammable materials like gas on your balcony

Reduce clutter and try and keep items on the balcony to a minimum

If you smoke make sure you fully stub cigarettes out and NEVER flick them off your balcony

Last year GMFRS responded to a number of fires on balconies during the warm weather and the most common cause of balcony fires is BBQs or people throwing cigarettes from buildings which can cause fires on someone else’s balcony.

A discarded cigarette caused a fire at the Lighthouse which spread across a number of balconies and resulted in the full evacuation of the building.

There have been various fires around the country which started on balconies and caused significant damage to buildings sometimes resulting in residents needing to move out.

The Government has issued advice to building owners about the potential risks posed by wooden balconies and in most buildings the use of BBQs on balconies is not permitted and may be a breach of the lease or tenancy agreement.

Residents have a responsibility to co-operate with the fire safety arrangements for the building and could face action if they put other people in the building at risk. 

For more information on how to keep you and your family safe, click here

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