Fire Safety Hub
Balcony Fires – What’s Happened?
Following the tragic fire at Grenfell on 14th June 2017, the government conducted a complete review of the claddings used on high rise residential buildings.
The result of this review was the introduction of significant changes to the relevant legislation including a combustible cladding ban
What is the Combustible Cladding Ban?
We have compiled a detailed review of the Combustible Cladding Ban...Learn More
Current Regulations & Compliance
Summary of relevant documents used in compiling our balcony fire safety whitepaper:
- Approved Document B1: 2013 (ﬁre safety) volume 1: dwelling (2006 edition incorporating the 2010 and 2013 and Nov 2018 and July 2019 amendments).
- MHCLG Various Advice Notes June 2019 & January 2020
- BS 9991: 2015 Fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings – Code of practice
- BS 9999:2017 Fire safety in the design, management and use of all buildings – Code of Practice
- BS EN 13501-1:2018 Fire Classification of Construction Products and Building Elements. Classification using data from reaction to fire tests.
Less Common Guidance:
- BS8579 the guide to the design of balconies and terraces. New standard released August 2020. It defines the difference between open and enclosed balconies.
- Policy D12 in the London Plan on reducing risk to life, minimising the risk of fire spread and providing a suitable means to evacuate and escape.
- NFCC policies and guidance
- British Standard EN 1365-5: 2004 Fire resistance test for loadbearing elements- balconies and walkways.
- BS EN 1363-1 Fire resistance tests, including revision draft.
- C Holland, M Shipp and D Crowder, Fire safety issues with balconies, BRE Global Ltd 2016.
- Centre for window and cladding technology, Standard for systemised building envelopes, Part 6, Fire performance, Sept 2008.
- Fire stopping: 4th edition, published by Association for Specialist Fire Protection.
Regulations differ for Scotland & Northern Ireland, ensure compliance with regional requirements. For example, Scottish Mandatory Handbook.
What are Sapphire doing to minimise risk of balcony fires?
In order to better understand the protective effect of soffits on the balcony in the event of a fire, we have commissioned some balcony fire safety testing at the Exova test centre in Warrington. For one of these tests, a full-size balcony Cassette® was constructed to fit the furnace size. This was fitted with class C decking (the least non-combustible product currently used by Sapphire), and a variety of soffit panels were fitted so the relative effect of these could be monitored.
You can learn more about what we’re doing by attending a 15min Balcony Safety Presentation.
Sapphire advocate the use of aluminium soffits on all balconies. However, where soffits have been omitted or are perforated (for architectural or cost reasons) there is clear evidence to suggest the use of class A decking should be considered to reduce the risk of rapid balcony fire development.
Further details can be found in our recently published balcony safety whitepaper. Request your copy below
Working with Resibuild we deliver a number of sustainability events.
Reducing Fire Risk in Residential Buildings - 11 August 2021
We are leading an event hosted by Resibuild on reducing fire risk in residential buildings...Register to Attend