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Have you got a balcony? Keep safe!

Have you got a balcony? Keep safe!

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Spring has arrived so many of us are spending more time outside. If you have a balcony, make sure you are using it safely.

Don’t use fire pits and barbeques on a balcony – unless the balcony and surrounding structure/barriers have been specifically designed to resist a fire from burning coals/wood. Don’t leave any burning materials unattended. Smoking materials like cigarettes can cause accidental fires if discarded carelessly.

Don’t leave burning candles unattended and make sure they are properly extinguished.

Don’t use balconies for storage unless you know exactly what they can carry. Balconies should never be used outside their intended design criteria, for example as outside storage, as this may increase the weight (load) and be a cause of failure and collapse.

Don’t install a hot tub, or other large item of heavy furniture, unless the balcony and its supporting structure, has been specifically designed for this. For example, a small 2-person inflatable hot tub that is filled to 80% capacity weighs about 1,110kg (1.1tonnes), the weight of a Volkswagen Polo!

Lastly, be careful in bright sunlight - In periods of intense sunlight, wooden or plastic furniture may ignite especially if a glass or lantern is close by that could magnify the sunlight into an intense focused beam.