Aluminium decking resolves Lewisham balcony fire risk

As fire-safety concerns continue to pose major challenge for housing providers across the UK, successful remediations are to be celebrated. We spoke with Richard Izzard, managing director at aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, about a recent retrofit project in Lewisham.

With the ongoing flammable cladding and fire-safety crisis occupying the trade headlines on a daily basis, it is easy to begin to feel an uncomfortable familiarity with the scandal and to perhaps start to lose sight of its devastating impact, both on building owners in the housing sector and on residents.

The fact is, though, that we remain a long way from resolution of this issue and that many thousands of buildings around the UK remain riddled with fire defects. Until all of these buildings are fully remediated and brought into line with new safety standards, the risk of another major building fire will hang over us.

Bearing that in mind, each building that sees its fire-safety issues resolved represents a step towards a safer and more secure future, for owners and occupiers, and is cause for celebration.

aluminium decking

Above: Timber decking at this local authority block in Lewisham showed signs of heavy scorching.

Richard Izzard, managing director at AliDeck, said “We’re very proud of the role that our products play in securing a safer future. Our range of aluminium decking products is A1 fire-rated, meaning it has been independently tested and certified as non-combustible.”

Countless tens of thousands of balconies in the UK have wooden or composite decking boards, which are combustible materials and are therefore not compliant with the new Government building advice issued in the aftermath of Grenfell.

“We developed our range of decking to be an ideal solution for the replacement of combustible timber and composite boards,” continued Richard. “With multi-occupancy buildings of any height now required to remove and replace combustible balcony materials, the guaranteed compliance of our decking has led to it becoming highly popular with conscientious building owners and property managers.”

AliDeck decking was recently used to replace the timber balcony decking at a local authority block in Lewisham. The existing timber decking actually showed signs of a close call, with heavy scorching visible on some balconies from the careless use of smoking materials, further underlining the pressing need to replace combustible materials immediately.

aluminium decking

Above: Before (left) and after (right) installation of AliDeck’s A1 fire-rated aluminium decking.

“It was quite shocking to see the burned areas on these balconies,” said Richard. “The wooden balcony decking could quite easily have gone up in flames and, with upper-floor balconies stacked above, there could easily have been spread of fire across the whole block and into the flats.”

Fixing the AliDeck boards directly to the balcony steel framework, installation was simple and effective, the new aluminium decking boards serving as a direct replacement for the dangerous timber boards.

“This project was completed by one of our approved installers, Alu-Installations,” explained Richard. “We have developed a training programme for installers that we deliver at our Rochester factory where we take candidates through our whole range of products and give them the opportunity to get some hands-on experience and really understand how our balcony component systems work to ensure top-quality installs.”

“George and his team at Alu-Installations were one of the earliest crews to complete our training programme and become approved installers, and they’ve now completed a huge amount of fire remediation projects for local authorities and housing associations across London and the South East.”

With a network of competent, trained installers available and second-to-none product safety credentials, the choice of AliDeck for balcony decking remedial works is an easy one to make.

To find out more about how AliDeck’s range can help you achieve compliant and fire-safe balconies, call 01622 534 032 or visit the website