Having a balcony of any size is often viewed as a big plus, and from plant lovers to those who love the outdoors, a balcony is an outdoor oasis that extends your living space.
Austin Jennings, renovation supervisor with Kelson Group, oversees the renovations of suites to ensure they are suitably renovated and maintained at a high standard to provide a safe, clean, and attractive rental home. Throughout his years in the profession, he has seen people using balconies in ways that are not safe and has tips on making the most of balcony living in a safe and secure manner.
Some common risks Jennings points out when it comes to balcony living:
– Use of a BBQ too close to the building can melt or warp siding. Keep BBQs away from the building when in use or when still hot after use.
– Use of balconies as storage which is a hazard for two main reasons: tripping for the resident and attracting pests if the wrong items are stored on a balcony such as food. Keep your balcony as clean and clear of items as possible.
– Storing expensive bikes or other items which can attract thieves. Keep items out of sight.
– Use of a planter pot as an ashtray which could cause a fire.
– The build-up of snow. As the snow melts, it can cause icicles or make a balcony very slippery. Keep balconies clear of snow.
– Broken, loose or rotten railings are a safety hazard and should be reported right away.
Jennings personally undertakes safety measures at his home. “I made sure my patio door had security hinges installed for added protection, as well as window locks on all windows. I shovel all the snow off my balcony and stairs in the winter and store away any tripping hazards.”
To ensure residents can enjoy their balconies while being safe, Jennings shares five valuable tips:
Tip 1: close your windows and blinds and remove patio furniture or any other valuable items if you are on the lower level of the building or are going away on a holiday.
Tip 2: add a footlocker on the inside of your apartment to make it more secure; don’t rely solely on the handle latch lock.
Tip 3: if you have children, add a child safety lock to the top of your balcony door.
Tip 4: report any soft spots or loose railings to your building manager so they can ensure we fix it right away.
Tip 5: leave your balcony light on at night to deter theft.
Jennings had one final tip to share. “Old Christmas and other outdoor lights can be a fire hazard, so ensure you check your lights before turning them on.”
*This blog was originally posted on Kelson Group’s blog as part of their Safe + Secure Series.