If you have young children at home, it’s important to take steps to avoid common home injuries, like falls, burns etc. This includes making the balcony as safe as possible, as it is one of the major potential hazards for a child.
Graana.com has listed several tips below to ensure balcony safety for your kids.
Why Is It Important to Ensure Balcony Safety?
Lack of precautions can lead to accidents, injuries or even death. It’s not just kids who need to be kept safe from balcony accidents; adults should take the same precautions, otherwise, they could be badly hurt (or worse) if they fall and land on hard surfaces below.
If there are children at home or if you live in an apartment block with shared gardens that have no safety railings around them, then it’s vital that you take steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
Safety Issues on a Balcony
The most obvious concern is the possibility of falling from a balcony. Children especially should avoid using the railing as an assistive device.
Another common issue is that of fire escape routes. Many balconies have no emergency escape route; therefore, the only way out of a burning building would be through windows above and below the level at which you are standing.
Tips to Ensure Balcony Safety
To boost the level of protection for your young children and toddlers, consider the following tips to make your balcony railings safe.
- Install proper fencing
- Use glass curtains
- Remove any potential hazards
- Keep balcony doors locked
- Install Auto-lock doors
- Supervise children on the balcony
- Avoid balconies with a steep pitch
- Slip-resistant balcony
- Install safety netting or mesh
- Play area for kids
Install Proper Fencing
One of the most effective ways to ensure balcony safety for kids is by installing a sturdy fence or railing to prevent them from falling over the edge.
The fence should be at least 36 inches high and have no gaps or openings that a child could squeeze through. You can also consider adding a gate with a childproof lock for added security.
Use Glass Curtains
The best way to minimise the risk of falling from a balcony is to use glass curtains or blinds. These can easily be installed and removed.
It is important that the glass curtain be held together by something stronger than itself. This can be done by adding 1/4″ plywood behind each panel of glass or using a 1/4″ angle iron for each panel of glass.
When choosing a curtain material, you may want to consider vinyl as an alternative to fabric because it is more durable and has a more attractive appearance. Vinyl curtains typically have more of a “finished” look than fabric ones do, but they still need to be cleaned regularly because they will accumulate dust over time.
Remove Any Potential Hazard
Look around your balcony and remove any potential hazards that could cause your child to trip or fall. This could include items like potted plants, outdoor furniture, or loose debris. Keep the area clutter-free.
Keep Balcony Doors Locked
It’s important to keep balcony doors locked at all times to prevent children from going there unsupervised. If possible, install a childproof lock as well.
Educate your children about the importance of staying away from the edge of the balcony and not climbing on the railing.
Install Auto Lock Doors
If your balcony doors don’t have auto locks, install a gate or door (that closes or locks automatically) at the entrance to the balcony to prevent unsupervised access. It should also be out of the child’s reach.
Supervise Children on the Balcony
Even with the above safety measures in place, it’s still important to supervise children on the balcony at all times.
Avoid Balconies With a Steep Pitch
If possible, avoid balconies that have a steep pitch or are located on a high floor. These can be more dangerous for children. Instead, choose to build a balcony with a more gentle slope that is located on a lower floor.
Make sure the floor of the balcony is slip-resistant to reduce the risk of falls. This can be achieved by using a textured flooring material, such as concrete or rubber, or by placing non-slip mats on the balcony.
Install Safety Netting or Mesh
Another way to ensure balcony safety for kids is to install safety netting or mesh. This should be securely attached to the balcony and small enough to prevent children from falling through.
Play Area for Kids
Install soft flooring on the balcony, such as outdoor carpet or rubber mats. This will provide a cushioned surface for your child to play on and also help prevent falls.
Additionally, choose age-appropriate toys, child-sized furniture and activities for your child to enjoy on the balcony. This could include items like small tables and chairs and a mini playhouse. balls, colouring books, or outdoor games.
A designated playing area can also give your child a dedicated space to play and feel comfortable on the balcony.
In a Nutshell
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your balcony is safe for your children. Remember to always supervise your kids on the balcony though, no matter how many safety measures are in place.
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