Quit smoking or remove combustible materials to reduce risk
The most shocking aspect of these devastating statistics is that these smoking-related balcony fires are completely avoidable. By people quitting smoking and therefore removing the materials that might cause a blaze, the risk of smoking-related fires on their balconies is immediately drastically reduced.
Many smoking-related balcony fires, though, are caused by smokers carelessly discarding their cigarettes from their own balconies only for them to be blown onto balconies below, such as that at a building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in May of this year. The more people that quit smoking, however, the less often this reckless act will cause fires.
Giving up smoking is an extremely difficult task for many people, though, and that many who try to quit this October will sadly not be successful at this attempt. Our message to them is twofold; keep trying and never give up on giving up, and also consider replacing the combustible timber or composite elements of your balcony to remove the possibility of smoking materials causing a dangerous balcony fire.
Alternatives to timber or composite decking include aluminium, which is a non-combustible material. With aluminium decking systems available that achieve an A1 fire rating, the best rating achievable, by replacing combustible materials with aluminium decking homeowners and property managers are immediately making a huge leap towards a fire safe home.
“Replacing combustible materials on balconies with non-combustible alternatives such as aluminium is a sure-fire way to increase balcony fire safety,” Richard concluded. “As more people give up smoking and more balconies have timber or composite deckling replaced, we’ll start to see a welcome reduction in these balcony fire incidents.”