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Tips for Childproofing Your Balcony

Comments(4) Sub Category:Common Area Safety,Parenting,Safety Tips Posted On: Apr 19, 2012

Most of us are not aware of the death-traps and the child deaths caused due to an unsafe balcony, here is an incident. Recently, in Prince Apartment in the Mandawali East Delhi, a toddler playing a game with her mother fell from the 4th floor of their apartment railings causing her death. The child was rushed to the hospital which was declared as brought dead. Around 30% of the children/toddler deaths all over the country occur due to an unsafe balcony such a gap between railings, leaping from balcony, suffocation, falling from balconies or windows etc.

Such heart-breaking incidents often occur in various apartments in India due to an improper fencing or railing of the balcony and staircases. Balconies and other mounted places pose grave hazards for children of all the ages. The possibilities of your child slipping away or getting stuck and suffocated in the railings are increased due to the unsafe balconies or failure in balcony safety measures. Indeed you can avoid these mishaps by taking precautions and following simple steps;

  • Make sure that the railings in your balcony or any mounted place shouldn’t have a gap more than 4 inches, if so take an action immediately by modifying it by a professional to avoid your child from squeezing in to it. Other ways to modify your railings is to shield the railings with fences used for a garden, plastic sheets or other durable sheets. The minimum height of the railing should be 3 ft in every building.
  • If your railing has any ladder like space which your child can easily climb on, make sure you block that space or use a fence so that your child is not accessible to that place.
  • One of the widely used shields covering for balconies is the Plexiglas. Although it is expensive, it serves various purposes like shielding, protection from sunlight rain and dust. The installing of a Plexiglas has to be done by a professional as it is a tough process.
  • Most of the countries like Dubai and others follow balcony safety measures by measuring the height of the balcony railings and windows before approving a building to avoid child deaths. Opting this method for your building will serve your purpose. It is also the responsibility of the municipality to approve a building only after is proofed of all the hazards.

  • Conducting routine inspections in your building often can prevent your child from falling or being hurt. Every property in India should have an association or an organisation for a home inspection and the safety of their child. Also the inspection can be carried out at the time of a construction or post construction.
  • In most of the incidents of a child’s death the parent is completely responsible rather than an engineer. Parents tend to neglect such situations and face the consequences later. Most of the accidents happen due to negligence.
  • Other cheaper ways to shield you balcony is to cover your balcony with a roll of clear balcony shield or the banister guard which is available in the market. Unlike Plexiglas, these are much easier to cut and install.
  • For outdoor balcony fencing, a deck neck is more appropriate. Also a shade cloth can be opted to cover the railings.
  • In case of an emergency, it is mandatory that a building shouldn’t have grills or additional fixtures for an easy access of civil defence.
  • Also screws and plastic cord ties can be used to secure the railings. Avoid using staples as they can create a serious choking hazard.

  • Your apartment railings can be secured by covering them with additional vertical slats/spindles in order to fill in the gaps. This technique is apt for wooden railings.
  • Avoid placing the patio furniture away from the railings or staircases to stop your child from climbing it.
  • It is advisable to add latches to passage ways and windows which lead towards the balcony. The latches should be out of your child’s reach.
  • Always make sure that every time you take your child to your friends place or a restaurant, keep a vigil on your child and avoid letting your child go near the balconies or stairs.
  • You can also install a door alarm for childproofing your home. There are various kinds of door alarms available for balconies and decks. Installing one at your home will make you aware every time your child opens the door.

Also read:

Safety Guidelines for Kids in Apartment

Electrical Safety Tips For Apartment

Fire Safety at Your Apartment Complex

 

4 Responses to “Tips for Childproofing Your Balcony”

  1. Nagraj says:

    There has been lots of accidents related with railings in balconies. We should really childproof our balconies beforehand..

  2. Vijay says:

    Very informative article

  3. Praveen Verma says:

    Hope these tips could make any difference!!

  4. Santhan Fernandes says:

    Enclosing the balcony with plexiglas in sliding frames with suitable locking arrangement is the best solution.

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