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Safety in Upper Storey Homes

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Each year around 50 children fall from windows or balconies. Many suffer serious injuries and some of these falls are fatal. People can also be seriously injured by being hit by objects which have fallen from balconies on upper storeys. To help prevent these incidents from happening, there are some things you can do to ensure the safety in your home.

New rails and fences on balconies must be at least 1m high, with no gaps wider than12.5cm. If you are living in an older building, the condition of balustrades including structural adequacy of railing, posts & fittings must be checked as the standards that these buildings were built under are different from today’s and age may cause corrosion of the materials.


To prevent children from climbing over railings on balconies, you must ensure there are no footholds which children can use to climb over the railing. Do not place any pots or furniture near the railing as children can climb or stand on them and try to avoid using lightweight outdoor furniture as children can drag these to the edge.

Windows are also a source for danger in homes on upper storeys. Ensure all windows in the home are fixed and open at no more than 10cm (and ensure they can only be opened by adults), or fit secure window guards.

Stairs are also a key issue for children’s safety. Install safety gates which are available from baby, hardware and department stores at the top and bottom of all stairs.

To reduce the risk of fatality or serious injury in relation to falls of people or objects from heights,  take the time to check your home and  ensure it meets current standards.