If you have children, you’ll know that it is inevitable that they will climb and explore almost anything in your home. This is why Steel Studio has an extensive range of child-friendly balustrade ideas for your staircase.
The concern of the risk of a child falling through a gap in a balustrade or over a balustrade, is real for so many parents. Considering this, you have to look at child-friendly balustrade ideas for your home. Choosing a child-friendly balustrade for your stairs can be a difficult task if you don’t really know all the regulations that a balustrade needs to comply with. That’s why we’re giving you some insight to make the right decision for you and your family when buying a balustrade.
1. Firstly, what is a balustrade?
Before we show you a range of child-friendly balustrade ideas, you first need to understand what a balustrade is and why it’s so crucial that a balustrade is a structural element of any building that has to comply with building and safety regulations. Here’s a link to an article explaining the purpose of a balustrade: https://www.steelstudio.co.za/what-is-a-balustrade/
2. Do you know how high your child-friendly balustrade should be?
SANS regulations state that any balustrade must be no less than 1m high. When we look at the requirements around child-safety, homeowners may consider raising the height to 1.1m or even 1.2m. Building regulations don’t necessarily require this, however it is recommended if you are concerned about climbing children. The below link explains how high your balustrade should be, upgrading to a higher height is up to you: https://www.steelstudio.co.za/how-high-should-my-balustrade-be/
3. Here’s what happens when you don’t fit a handrail to a component fixed glass balustrade.
Everyone wants a frameless glass balustrade without any interfering handrail or post that interrupts your view, but have you considered the child-safety and as a matter of fact, all human safety repercussions of doing this? A specialist in balustrades will not recommend a frameless balustrade without a handrail unless the glass is fitted into a permanent concrete or steel channel, because they would have tested the balustrade and seen that it doesn’t pass the impact test and safety standards. Take a look at the below video on the link to see what happens when an impact test is done on a frameless glass balustrade without a handrail: https://www.steelstudio.co.za/this-is-what-happens-when-you-dont-fit-a-handrail-onto-your-glass-balustrades/
4. The 100mm air-gap rule for child-friendly balustrades.
This isn’t just a child-friendly rule. This includes all balustrades. As per SANS and the residential occupancy category codes, an object of 100mm in diameter may not pass through an area of the balustrade. This will ensure that your child won’t fall through the air-gaps in the balustrade.
5. Are horizontal rail balustrades child-friendly?
Horizontal balustrades are not illegal in South Africa. However, this balustrade design should be scrutinised more closely when there are children to consider. Children are inevitable climbers. They will most definitely consider climbing a horizontal balustrade if the opportunity arises. There are however changes that can be made to this balustrade design that could prevent climbing over.
Raised balustrade height for child safety
The height of the horizontal rail balustrade can be raised if there are children to be considered. This is not law but is a recommended practice for child safety.
A cranked handrail to curb the interest of climbers
If the height of a balustrade is not an option, then a cranked handrail can be installed, preventing children from climbing over a horizontal rail balustrade.
Another option is to incline the balustrade towards the inside of a balcony or slab, which will also prevent mobile toddlers from climbing over a horizontal rail balustrade.
Now that you’re more comfortable with the balustrade regulations, you can make the right decision when looking for a child/friendly balustrade idea for your home.
Here are some impact tested balustrades that Steel Studio has designed and installed in many homes around South Africa, to keep children and adults, safe:
Child-friendly safety tested stainless steel post and glass balustrades
An elegant and affordable glass balustrade idea for a contemporary home that has been engineered for safety and accidental impact.
A frameless glass balustrade that won’t fail under impact
A 12mm panel of toughened safety glass has been secured into a permanent pre-cast concrete channel and does not require a handrail because the permanent channel spreads the load across the glass panel on impact, whilst resisting the impact. This is an affordable balustrade idea if some designing consideration is given ahead with your architect to ensure the design includes for a pre-cast concrete channel, saving you costs on stainless steel components and fittings.
An elegant and safe stainless steel horizontal rail balustrade
This balustrade idea features a laser-cut profile post constructed out of stainless steel. And although the balustrade contains horizontal infill rails, the entire system is fixed at an inclined angle towards the inside of the balcony, preventing mobile toddlers from finding their way over the balustrade.
For more child-friendly and safety tested balustrade ideas visit our web page https://www.steelstudio.co.za/balustrades/ or call us today on 011-608-1963 to get a no-obligation site visit and quote from one of our qualified sales executives.