A balcony is a wonderful addition to any building, whether it be a house or a place of business. Due to the abundance of space that they offer, residents and employees alike are able to relax and take in the surrounding environment while doing so. However, a surface that does not have waterproof balcony flooring, the incorrect railings, or structural elements that have not been repaired can put guests in danger. Let's take a closer look at how to maintain the attractiveness of your balcony while also ensuring that it is safe for anyone to use.
Did you know that balconies are one of the most hazardous places in any house for inquisitive young children and older children who like to test their limits? When it comes to childproofing your home, you cannot overlook the importance of balcony safety for children. This is true whether you live in a home with two stories or an apartment in a high-rise building. It is now more important than it has ever been to discuss ways to make your balcony safe for children because the idea of vertical living is becoming more popular and a number of luxury apartment projects are being constructed in each major city.
Kids tend to be naturally quite curious about the world around them. The primary responsibility for ensuring a child's safety ultimately rests on the shoulders of the child's parents, despite the fact that most developers are now paying special attention to make balconies and staircases less hazardous for children.
Since we have already discussed ways to make stairs less hazardous for children, we will now discuss some simple yet effective safety precautions for balconies that parents can take to protect their children from potential danger.
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Ways to Improve High-Rise Balcony Safety
Children, by their very nature, are inquisitive. They are more likely to experience injuries as a result of their love of climbing, touching, watching, and exploring. This should be concerning for everyone, but especially families that live in apartment complexes or other high-rise buildings. Even more so when one considers the fact that most accidental falls involving children occur from heights, as shown by statistics. The balconies of apartment buildings present the most significant cause for concern. We are urging all parents and landlords to make their homes safer for children by installing one of these balcony guards in order to cut down on the number of fatalities.
Invisible grilles are a fail-safe option that can't be beat. This balcony guard is constructed out of steel cables, and it helps reduce the likelihood of young children falling off balconies. Because they can be adapted to the specific needs of each family's living space and are available in portable forms, they can be of great assistance to families who are searching for a solution that will only be needed temporarily in their rented homes. Invisible grilles have a long lifespan due to the fact that they are fabricated from stainless steel. However, one can still cut them with a wire cutter if one so chooses. Because of this, they cannot be utilised to protect a building from being broken into. Invisible grilles may be the updated version of conventional grilles, but contrary to what the name may lead one to believe, they are not completely undetectable. You are able to make out the slender wires that run across, and your view of what is taking place outside is not the clearest it could be.
Glass Curtains is a completely retractable inclosure for balconies that can transform an unused space into an oasis that can be enjoyed throughout the year and offers limitless design options. This one-of-a-kind innovation was granted an exclusive patent in Europe and was created for simple, all-around use while maintaining the highest possible level of security and longevity. The numerous advantages it offers to families are made possible by the use of toughened glass units and the Teflon Transport System. According to the results of tests, Glass Curtains® are capable of reducing the volume of outside traffic noise to the same decibel level as that of gentle background music, and they are also effective in maintaining a dry interior despite the presence of heavy rain. It eliminates the need for ball bearings, which can rust and have sliding friction thanks to a maintenance-free Teflon Transport System, which also eliminates the need for rubber wheels, which can deteriorate over time.
The weight of the glass panels is distributed evenly across the bottom of the tracks, which allows them to sit firmly and securely in place, making Glass Curtains® an exceptionally stable and reliable product. Apartment dwellers are afforded an unrestricted view of the horizon because the unattractive frames that typically separate glass panels have been eliminated. The Flying DoorTM opening system is yet another innovative product of its kind. The users have the option of leaving some of the glass panels in place for a partial windbreak, or they have the choice of completely opening the glass panels for maximum ventilation. In addition to that, a sidelock system can be utilised if additional protection is required. Because this glass inclosure can prevent fatal falls from high-rise apartments, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their children can roam freely and safely within the building.
Outdoor Blinds and Ziptrak®
Outdoor blinds are another fantastic option for households that are looking for an additional layer of safety. There is a wide variety of configurations available for louvre shutters, PVC blinds, and external venetian blinds to accommodate a variety of different requirements. The majority of these blinds can be used in a variety of settings, but they do not perform particularly well in severe weather. They require regular touch-ups and replacements, and they block the view in the process.
Ziptrak®, on the other hand, is an innovative track-guided blind system that was developed to offer protection against unfavourable environmental factors, such as precipitation, heat, wind, haze, insects, and ultimately, falls! The spring-balanced system that it utilises is one of the most refined available on the market. To operate the blind, you will not need to use any cranks or ropes. You can pull it down, then push it up, and when you let go, it will remain at the height you chose. Ziptrak® has been put through extensive testing to ensure that it offers complete protection from the wind and rain. Because of the way the design adheres so firmly to the vertical tracks, there won't be any rattling even when the winds are at their strongest. When the blind is all the way down, there is also the option to lock it for additional safety. It is possible to cover a large opening with a Ziptrak® that is up to 6 metres wide, and it is available in manual or motorised geared styles, making it a solution that is both fashionable and efficient.
One of the easiest and most fundamental preventative measures one can take is to instal a safety nett on the balcony. The materials for netting can be purchased without much effort at most hardware stores, trimmed to size, and are simple to set up. Even though the presence of a nett on the balcony may not be particularly appealing from an aesthetic standpoint, there is still sufficient room to breathe in some fresh air while keeping young children and pets relatively safe. It is important to keep in mind that while nets may be effective at preventing unwanted guests like birds from entering the home, these nets have not been proven to provide complete safety.
Additional Slats and Spindles
Some child safety considerations that families who live in an apartment with a balcony ought to keep in mind include the following:
ensuring that there are no horizontal parts on the railings that would allow children to climb on them.
removing climbable objects such as furniture and other decorative items from the edge of the balcony.
- Ensuring that doors leading onto balconies are kept closed so that children do not gain access to them.
In addition to these, the railing on the balcony can be made safer by installing additional vertical slats or spindles to fill in the spaces between the existing ones.
Kid-Proofing the Balcony
It is imperative that you check the balcony for any potential dangers before allowing your children to play there. Children often have a natural curiosity that leads them to do things that could put them in harm's way. When designing a space on a balcony that is suitable for children, here are some considerations to keep in mind:
Make Sure Your Railings Are Well Fortified and High Enough
Children have a habit of running up to the railings in order to look outside. Check that your railing is sturdy enough and that it is installed correctly. Another important consideration is the height of the railing around the balcony. Make sure that your child will not be able to climb on the railing of your balcony by ensuring that it is high enough on all sides. If your balcony has low horizontal bars that resemble ladders, you might want to cover it up because children could use it to climb up to your balcony.
Cover up Any Gap More Than 4 Inches
It is recommended that you fill in any gaps in your railing that are greater than 4 inches in width. Children can get their hands or heads caught by sticking them outside the fence, which can cause them to become trapped. If you want to cover these gaps, using Plexiglas or a balcony shield is a good idea.
Make Sure No Sharp Objects or Tools Are Lying About
Be mindful of everything you keep on your balcony if you want to design it so that it is suitable for use by children. Be sure to secure any dangerous items that you keep in the open air, such as dangerous chemicals or fertilisers, sharp tools, or other potentially hazardous materials. Young children often have an inquisitive nature, so you should avoid leaving anything potentially hazardous or harmful lying around the house.
Keep the Furniture Away From the Railings
Be sure that none of your outdoor furniture is too close to any of the edges. The children can use the furniture as a foothold while they climb up to the railing.
After you have taken the necessary precautions to keep your young children safe on your balcony, the following are some engaging activities that can be done in your backyard to keep your children occupied.
Tips On Balcony Safety For Kids
The question now is, how exactly does one childproof a balcony? Let's find out:
- Alter or replace the railing on your balcony.
- Put in place the balcony's safety mesh.
- Take off any furniture that's on the balcony.
- Invest in secure fasteners and locks.
- Put money into a door alarm.
Let's have a further conversation about these different ways to keep children safe on balconies.
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Replace Your Balcony Railings
Check to see that the railings on your balcony do not have any spaces that are more than 4 inches wide.
It is imperative that you replace your balcony railings with something that is higher and more secure if they are low or can be easily climbed.
For instance, there are railing options made of cable and wire rope that are not only easy on the wallet but also aesthetically pleasing. In spite of this, there is typically sufficient room between each post for a toddler to pass through without much difficulty. In a similar vein, some contemporary metal railings may have a chic and stylish appearance, but their height is such that a child could easily climb them.
Both of these possibilities have the potential to put people in harm's way.
It is possible to instal a tall wrought iron railing or a metal grill that makes it impossible for a child to climb over or squeeze through depending on the size of your budget and the bylaws in the surrounding area. Your balcony railings should not have any spaces that are more than 4 inches apart at the very most. In addition to being an excellent choice, a concrete parapet is also an option that is friendly to your wallet when it comes to childproofing your balcony. In the meantime, if you are concerned that tall grills will obstruct your view, an alternative that will keep children safe and won't obstruct your view is to instal a transparent balcony shield made of waist-high plexiglass.
In addition, even if your balcony railing is the perfect height and doesn't have any major openings, you still need to double check that it was installed correctly and won't become loose in the near future.
This is one of the most essential pieces of advice pertaining to the safety of balconies for children.
In the meantime, here are some additional suggestions for balcony railings that will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home while simultaneously ensuring the safety of the surrounding area for your children.
Install Balcony Safety Mesh
This is one of the least expensive ways to keep children safe while they are playing on a balcony.
Since replacing your balcony railing can be rather expensive, you can try securing it with a wire or plastic mesh instead. Even though putting up a child safety nett on the balcony is not a permanent solution and is not guaranteed to prevent children of any age from climbing it, it will prevent infants, toddlers, and young children from doing so. In addition to this, if you have a safety mesh for balcony, you won't have to worry about your children throwing their toys through the gaps in the grill. This is because they won't be able to get through.
Any hardware store will have no trouble supplying you with wire or plastic balcony safety netting for your children to use. You can even place an order for a child safety nett for the balcony through an online retailer, and you can specify the colour you want it to be.
These children's balcony safety nets are also very easy to instal and replace.
Remove Furniture From The Balcony
Children can use outdoor furniture as a foothold to climb over the railing of a balcony if they are not supervised.
I was wondering if you had any tables or chairs lying around on your balcony. If your child is old enough to move household furniture next to the wall of the balcony but is still young enough to be unaware of the potential dangers of doing so, you need to exercise an increased level of vigilance at all times.
Eliminating any outdoor furniture that may have been left out in the open on the balcony is one of the quickest and easiest steps you can take to make the space child-friendly. In spite of the fact that you take pleasure in drinking your evening tea on the balcony, you should remember to bring all of the furniture items inside after you have finished using them.
You should also make sure that there are no boxes, plant pots, or toys that your child could use as a stepping stool to climb over the balcony railing. Children are known to have very active imaginations, so this is a very important safety precaution to take. If the railing has a space that resembles a ladder for use in an emergency, you should make sure that children are unable to gain access to it by installing a balcony shield that is see-through. However, you shouldn't completely close it off because you never know when you might require it in the event of something untoward happening.
In addition, make investments in weighty pieces of furniture to make the balcony a safe place for children. The heavier the furniture, the more challenging it will be to not only drag it to the balcony but also climb on top of it in an effort to get a better view of what's going on outside.
Get Safety Locks And Latches
This is yet another tried-and-true protection strategy for balconies, and it is designed to keep children who are not being supervised away from the area.
Even if you take all of the necessary safety measures, there is still a possibility that your toddler will climb up onto the balcony while you are working. This could happen even if you are very careful. As a childproofing measure, therefore, it is recommended that you instal two different locks on the door leading to your balcony. You can purchase a latch at any hardware store and instal it in a location that is out of reach of your child even if the door already has a built-in lock on it. Keep in mind that children have a tendency to be very perceptive and may figure out how to unlock the door after observing you do it a few times.
If there are other people living in your home and they use the balcony on a regular basis, you need to remind them to check that the door is latched securely behind them and that the latch is in the correct position when they come back inside.
This is without a doubt one of the most effective ways to make your balcony safe for children.
Invest In A Door Alarm
Installing a home security alarm system is one of the best things you can do to protect your family, especially your children.
Lastly, but certainly not least, one option available to you is to purchase a home alarm system. Not only will it protect your home from intruders, but it will also help make your balcony secure for your children to play on. Obviously, this is one of the balcony safety tips on this list that involves a significant financial investment. On the other hand, this is a failsafe method to prevent your young children from accessing the balcony without drawing attention to themselves in the process.
Even though there is a wide selection of residential security alarm systems on the market, you will need to hire a trained professional in order to have one installed in your home.
Unfortunately, a significant number of toddlers wind up injuring themselves or even worsening their conditions after falling down the balcony by accident. Therefore, if you have young children living in your home, it is imperative that you adhere to these guidelines regarding the safety of balconies for children. Not to mention the fact that it is equally as important for the parents to exercise discipline and teach their children about the dangers of climbing up the railing of the balcony or attempting to squeeze through the gaps in the design of the railing's construction.
Kid-Friendly Balcony Activities
Outdoor Splash Pool
Create a fun outdoor splash pool for your children to enjoy by transforming your balcony into one. You might want to invest in an inflatable pool for use during the hot summer months. That way, your children will have the opportunity to enjoy themselves by playing in the water on the balcony. Be sure to determine the maximum weight that can be supported by your balcony.
Sandbox Play Area
Construct an exciting outdoor sandbox for your little one to play in so that they'll have something to do while you get some work done. You can turn an old bookshelf into a fun do-it-yourself sandbox and then purchase some toys to leave in the area; this will prevent the sand from being brought back inside the house with the toys.
Make the wall of your balcony into a chalkboard so that your child can draw, write, and otherwise express their creativity there.
Outdoor Camping Area
It wouldn't be difficult at all to transform your balcony into a tenting area for your child outside. Put up a tipi in the corner of your gallery, set up a picnic table next to it, and encourage your children to take on new challenges.
Make your balcony into the ultimate spot for playing board games! Include a table in the room, surrounded by chairs, and then load it up with a variety of board games and card games. Games such as Jenga, Monopoly, Sequence, and a lot of others!
Balcony Gardening for Kids
Set aside a portion of your garden specifically for your children, and show them how to plant the seeds you gave them. Teach them how to take care of their own personal garden plot, and observe how they react to the responsibility.
Outdoor Play Fort
Create a small playhouse or fort in the backyard for your child to enjoy. Your kid will have a good time playing inside any kind of house, whether it's a dollhouse or a castle full of pirates.
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An outdoor craft table is sure to get your kid's creative juices flowing. Make use of the area to foster your child's creative side through activities such as drawing, painting, knitting, and the conceptualisation of a variety of do-it-yourself projects with your children.
If you are going to the trouble of childproofing your railings, don't forget to also secure the safety of any exterior stairs. If your balcony or deck has stairs leading down to the ground below, you should construct or purchase a gate that is designed to blend in with the railings that are already there. Be sure that the latching mechanism on the gate cannot be opened by a child or that it is high enough that it is out of reach.
Make it a point to form the habit of storing patio furniture in a way that keeps it away from the railings. You should avoid giving your child the opportunity to climb up and go over the edge of the cliff.
You ought to also give some thought to installing latches on any doors or windows in your home that provide access to your balcony or deck. These latches need to be installed in a location that is inaccessible to your child.
You will not have the ability to add latches to doors or close gaps between spindles if you are staying in a hotel or visiting the home of someone else. If there is a space between the spindles that is large enough for a child to fit through, the safest thing for you to do is to keep your child off of the balcony or deck entirely, even if he is being watched. Curious children can be very quick, and all it takes to get away is a split second for a child to disappear.
FAQs About Balcony Repair
The first thing you can do is instal a mesh or screen below the balcony to prevent your cat from jumping off or falling through. Mesh will need to be wrapped around the railing of your balcony if the bottom half of your balcony is not a solid wall. It lets in fresh air and doesn't block out too much of the light. The use of netting is the second method for preventing cats from entering the house.
Cats have strong instincts for self-preservation, so it is highly improbable that they will voluntarily leap off of balconies. However, cats are prone to taking tumbles for no apparent reason. They run the risk of losing their footing while walking on a balcony, being blown off by strong winds, or missing their landing altogether if they chase birds.
You can enclose your balcony with some quick and easy fixes, such as installing bamboo roll up blinds or using outdoor curtains. There are also some other options available to you. Screens are an excellent method for controlling insects, and netting will keep your pet from falling off the balcony. Screen panels that are premade or an awning that can be screened in are examples of solutions that are more permanent.
If you want to enclose a balcony, you need to get the building department's permission first. Otherwise, it's against the law. The one and only exception to this rule is when the building in question is at least 50 years old and was constructed out of brick or stone. In this case, the inclosure work can be done without first obtaining a permit.
Due to the fact that it has a free opening configuration, the panels can also be opened and closed without risk of injury. You can make the most of the space on your balcony even when the weather is less than ideal by installing a glass inclosure there. When there is a thunderstorm, simply close the panels and then open them again when the rain stops. This will allow gentle breezes from the outside to enter the room.