Important balcony dos and don’ts

Your home

If you have the luxury of a balcony, you’re probably spending more time on it while the weather is warmer. But have you thought about whether your balcony is safe for you and your family?


Here you’ll find some reminders to help you enjoy your balcony safely.

Fire safety

According to the London Fire Brigade there have been more than 550 balcony fires across London in the last 3 years. Let’s think about that for a moment – that’s an average of more than 3 balcony fires every single week in London alone!

Fortunately, it’s easy to make sure your balcony is fire safe:

  • Do: be mindful of any naked flames and how you dispose of hot materials, either within your apartment or on your balcony
  • Do: make sure that if you’d like to use decorative lighting on your balcony, ensure that it is rated for external use and that the power connection is inside, away from the effects of the weather. Turn them off when you leave or go to bed.

  • Don’t: store flammable waste such as old mattresses and cardboard recycling on your balcony
  • Don’t: affix additional timber or flammable screening to your balcony
  • Don’t: use your balcony as a barbecue area, or use any other appliance that produces a naked flame or intense heat on your balcony

Defect checks

Regular defect checks will keep you and your family safe and your balcony in good shape.

  • Do: regularly check the surfaces, flooring, glass and railings of your balcony, to make sure they’re safe and not in need of repair. Report any defects or have them repaired as soon as possible.
  • Don’t: use your balcony until repairs have been completed, unless it is safe to do so

Trip and fall hazards

Take care with potential hazards that could cause you an injury.

  • Do: keep your decking clean to remove algae or dead leaves which could make your balcony surface slippery
  • Don’t: store lots of items on your balcony
  • Don’t: try to clean the outer face of your balcony’s window glass by reaching over, unless you are certain it’s safe to do so

Family safety

When you have a balcony it’s extremely important to consider the safety of your family at all times.

  • Do: make sure your children are supervised when they are near or on your balcony
  • Don’t: allow anyone to climb or lean over the balcony
  • Don’t: underestimate how fast children can move!

Neighbour safety

Being a good neighbour includes being considerate about how you use your balcony.

  • Do: remember you have neighbours below, above and beside you and think about how your balcony behaviour could affect them
  • Don’t: drop any object from your balcony, including cigarette ash or butts
  • Don’t: allow heavy objects to sit against your balcony windows or be forced between steel railings

Further information

Find out more on how to keep fire safe and tips for staying cool when the heat rises.