High Rise Balcony Safety: 9 Tips
If you are looking to buy an apartment in the newest and greatest building in your city or to remodel something old, a high-rise balcony will bring problems. Many people have wondered just how safe these balconies are and how to improve the safety already there.
To ensure the high rise balcony is safe, check the railings each year, install shielding like mesh wires or netting, and control who has access to the balcony. Further, weigh down any furniture you keep on it and always remove loose objects from tables or corners once you are no longer using the balcony.
You should be doing many things to ensure that no one ever gets hurt because you have a high-rise balcony. Many people mistakenly assume that leaving the balcony open at all times will automatically be safe when in reality, this causes gusts and storms.
How Do You Make A High Rise Balcony Safe?
When it comes to fixing your high-rise balcony or choosing a high-rise apartment, you need to ensure that it is truly safe. You can do many things that will automatically make it safer to live with a balcony higher than most other buildings surrounding you.
Many people have given up on the process, locking off the balcony and never entering it again. However, when the right steps have been taken, this is unnecessary and ensures that you can have a nice space to enjoy the city’s wind, sun, and sounds.
This is the first thing you should look for when looking at high-rise balconies and that you should upgrade when you fix the balcony. You can use mesh wire, netting, and even plexiglass to ensure that no one can slip through the gaps in the railings of your high-rise balcony.
Further, many homeowners have a thin plastic mesh covering the balcony’s overall open space to prevent anyone from climbing over the railings. If you have pets or children, we recommend adding as much shielding as possible, preventing even the most basic of accidents.
Your high-rise balcony will already have some guard railing from when it was built; this railing needs to be checked yearly. It is also a good idea to add onto these railings to ensure that it is much harder to slip through them or to climb up onto them when you aren’t looking.
As apartment codes have improved over the years, the railing guidelines have changed significantly. Older apartments may have to have their high-rise balconies completely redone before home inspectors allow you to start living in the apartment. You can read more about regulations for balcony railings here
When you are using the balcony try to avoid the temptation to lean on the railings, they are designed to take the weight ( if properly maintained, but usually people will have something in their hands, and while dropping a phone or a book onto the floor is at worst call for a new phone, if dropped from a balcony it is a lethal projectile.
The fancier your high-rise balcony is, the more the chances are that you want furniture on it to make a living with it more fun. We recommend that you use the heavier style furniture and that nothing on the balcony be loose, tying everything down or just using weights.
Any pillows, umbrellas, chairs, or even tables can be picked up by the wind and flung off the balcony and onto the heads of anyone below. Everyone who moves into their first apartment with a high-rise balcony loses something when the first big winds rise,
If you check trees below buildings after high winds you will invariably find items of clothing, cushions and umbrellas. At best it is amusing at worst it can be dangerous.
This is the thing that many high-rise apartment owners often forget to do with their balconies, but locking the door to the balcony makes everything safer. Having the door locked at all times gives you the peace of mind of knowing no one drunk or a child can accidentally go over the balcony.
Further, as weird as it may seem, high-rise balconies can be dangerous to open when you sleep or not at home. While a criminal is unlikely to get into your house, many birds like to rest on high-rise balconies, so they may accidentally fly into your home.
Door Safety on High Rise Balconies
Although as we mentioned above locking doors to prevent children and pets accessing the balcony unsupervised is important, there are other aspects of doors, especially patio style and sliding doors that are often overlooked and a common feature of the “fail videos” on Youtube.
Patio doors, if sparkly clean, can be hard to notice. it becomes difficult to see if they are open or closed and many times the accidents on a balcony will be people waking face first into them without realising. Thinking about some sort of glass stickers so people have more of a chance to see if the door is closed or i guess have your video camera ready to video it !
This becomes a reality when you host parties or have a few friends over for a good dinner. High-rise balconies are extremely fun but should also be limited to who can access them at any given time, with children and animals never being left unsupervised.
We cannot stress enough that even one minute of being unsupervised can lead to disaster in high-rises. If you haven’t been a parent, it can be indescribable to explain how fast a child of any age can suddenly decide to do something completely disastrous.
That includes throwing things from the balcony. Keep the gaps in railings covered to prevent this, and keep small toys off the balcony to make sure what is being played with stays where it should be.
This advice is not just for children, the temptation to lean and look over the balcony with a drink in hand is always there either when your own or when entertaining. Have tables and chairs for people to use to encourage them to keep their glasses on the right side of your balcony.
High rise balconies are in buildings with many ( usually) other homes and people. for the sake of all the building will have rules on fire prevention. One of these is very likely to be no open flames on balconies.
Although it can differ from building to building, we strongly suggest resisting the urge to have grills or other barbecues on the balcony, embers will travel and at that height can travel far. if they land on another balcony they may pose a significant fire risk, so while you may think you can monitor and watch your own balcony you can’t do the same for other peoples.
Even candles if taken by wind or blown over will be a fire hazard and there are now plenty of faux candles you can choose from to prevent this risk.
Keep an Eye on the weather on a High rise balcony.
Wind is stronger on High rise balconies and if you live in an area with many apartment blocks you may find it is even stronger still as it can be funnelled through narrow gaps increasing wind speed. depending which way yo face this may be a problem, and even if you are leeway ( away from the wind) wnd can change depending on the season and time of year.
Even heavy furniture can be moved by strong winds, and we have come back thinking all would be well to find out 3 seat sofa and chairs, thankfully still on the balcony, but certainly not where we left them!
If you know there is a storm coming you can at least bring in lighter furniture, lamps, cushions, table ornaments and even plants. If your furniture is too large then you can arrange it so it is less likely to catch the wind, or even tie or weigh it down or together to prevent it moving.
Maintenance of a High rise Balcony
Although as a general rule of thumb the inside of the apartment is your responsibility and the outside of the building is the building managements it pays to keep them informed if you notice any defects or problems starting to appear.
If you notice, and you should check for these when you move in and on an ongoing basis, loose or cracked tiles, roof issues, railing damage or even worse movement then report it at one to the management committee for the building. As advised on Livinginahighrise, do this in writing to cover yourself if anything does happen.
Are Apartment Building High-Rise Balconies Safe?
Even the oldest high-rise balconies are built with strict codes to prevent people from falling off them, with most being over-engineered to be safe. As long as you are not doing anything crazy on the balcony, it is just as safe as any other balcony or deck that you may find.
It should be remembered that you will be extremely high up in the air, hence the name high-rise balcony. This means that you will need to consider that anything falling off the balcony can kill you and that if you or someone else falls from the balcony, they won’t survive.
However, modern codes and safety regulations have meant that the most dangerous thing about high-rise balconies is that the wind is relentless. With wind speeds that can push most people over, leaving the door or windows open could mean everything inside your house becomes a projectile.
How Do You Know If A High-Rise Balcony Is Safe?
Suppose you suspect that a high-rise balcony isn’t safe; start by checking the railings that should be all around it. When moving your hand against the railing, there should be no movement, as the bolts and nuts should prevent any movement at all from happening.
Next, you can check whether there are any nets or mesh to prevent children or pets from climbing onto the railing and over the balcony. Most rental apartments will have these already installed, while you should be adding these to your railing when buying a high-rise apartment.
Several people assume that the high-rise balcony on an apartment well over 20 years old will be perfectly fine. In reality, you should check the railings to see if they are loose, and the netting, of present, to make sure it has not become weaker after being exposed to the elements.
High-rise balconies are usually built to strict guidelines, and you can easily tell how safe they are by feeling the strength of the railings. Adding a few simple features like netting or locking the doors can greatly increase your high-rise balcony’s overall safety without having to stress about negative possibilities.
Whatever you do, please don’t leave the balcony doors open at all times; The air pressure from inside and out side in at least likely to slam doors, but at worst can scatter household items all over the place!
- How To Make Your Balcony Safe For Your Kids? (Commonfloor.Com)
- 6 Tips For High-Rise Balcony Safety – Balcony Boss
- 5 Ways To Improve High-Rise Balcony Safety – Kiddy123.Com
- Are High-Rise Balconies Safe? 7 Critical High-Rise Balcony Safety Tips (Livinginahighrise.Com)
- Are Balconies On High-Rise Apartment Buildings Safe? – Quora
- 27 Safety Grills Ideas | Apartment Balconies, Build Your Dream Home, Marble Floor (Pinterest.Com)