In recent years a number of deaths and serious injuries have occurred as a result of falls from decks, balconies and windows, or from the collapse of decks and balconies.
Had people been more aware of the dangers associated with elevated areas and the importance of adequate maintenance of decks and balconies, some of these deaths and injuries may have been prevented.
General deck and balcony safety
- Avoid installing heavy objects such as spas on a deck or balcony, unless the deck or balcony has been specifically designed to withstand this extra load.
- Avoid excessive jumping, dancing or other movement on a deck or balcony, unless the deck or balcony has been specifically designed to withstand this extra load.
- Remember that as a deck or balcony ages, elements generally deteriorate, reducing its ability to withstand the loads for which it was originally designed.
- Avoid having large numbers of people gather on a deck or balcony at once, unless the deck or balcony has been specifically designed to withstand this load.
- Never climb over a balustrade, and never climb from one balcony to another, especially in multi-storey or high-rise buildings.
- Never sit on top of a balustrade.
Child safety on decks and balconies
There are a number of safety precautions to help ensure the safety of children around decks and balconies. These include:
- ensuring buildings are adapted to make them safer for kids
- ensuring there are no climbable elements on the balustrades that kids can grip to help them climb
- placing all outdoor furniture and other climbable objects well away from balustrades
- ensuring furniture and other climbable objects are difficult to move, for example, using heavy furniture
- installing high locks or latches and self-closing devices to doors leading to decks or balconies
- not placing furniture or other climbable objects near windows
- not relying on flyscreens or non safety-grade glass to protect window openings
- constantly supervising children.