A balustrade line a staircase to keep people safe and serves as a barrier so they will not fall to the floor below. It can also enhance the look of your stairs and make them more visually appealing.
A handrail can be made from material such as wood, metals and glass. The essential parts of the fence are the following :
Newel Post – provides the structural support to the handrails and is attached to the floor or the stairs’ steps or balcony.
Newel Caps – these are decorative components found at the top of the newel to improve its look.
Banister or handrails – Horizontal Railings use for holding and attached to the newel post.
Baserail – these are vertical rails connected to the newel post. It is placed at the bottom of the spindles and the floor or steps.
Spindles – these are vertical rails that are connected to the handrail and base rails.
Types of Glass Stair Balustrade
Glass Stair Balustrades are elegant and stylish. They are an excellent addition to your home and perfect for staircases, interior landings, walkways, patios and balconies. There are several types of glass stair railing. Here are some of them.
- Glass Stair Balustrade with clamped railings – the glass panel railings are attached using glass clips and newel post.
- Glass Stair Balustrade with clamped railings with dadoed glass railing – the glass railing is more securely attached because it is placed in between the top handrail and the bottom shoe. This type is the most secure and cleanest look since only the top and bottom parts are attached.
- Glass Stair Balustrade with clamped railings with standoff railing – features a frameless rail system where the glass panel is being held using round stainless steel cylinders called standoffs. The glass has pre-drilled holes where the standoffs will be inserted and fastened to the stairs.
Glass Stair Balustrade is often more expensive to install compared to other types of railings. You usually need at least 6mm to 12 mm of glass for the panels. Among the different glass railings, the dadoed glass raining is economical because it can use thinner glass since it has more structural support. Contact your local contractors for quotes and a comparison of the different types of glass railings.
Glass Stair Balustrade Safety
A balustre is a barrier made from metal, timber or glass and keeps people, especially children, from falling from the edge. But sometimes, improper installation of balusters might cause accidents. Here are some accidents involving balusters :
- Sometimes the head, arms and legs of children are caught in-between the spaces between the railing.
- Babies and small children fall through the railing due to the baluster’s improper distancing, especially if there is too much space in-between.
- Balustrades with wrong heights can also cause accidents like falls that will cause severe injuries.
Australian Building standards for balustrade
An improperly designed and built Balustrade can cause severe injuries and even loss of life. Here are some important sections that cover the construction of Balustrade in Australia
- The Balustrades’ height should be at least 1 metre if the balcony is more than a metre from the ground.
- The openings between the fence should be less than 12. 5 cm.
- Balconies or decks that are more than 4 metres above the ground should not have horizontal climbing parts 15 to 76 cm above the floor. These prone parts might be used for climbing by small children.
These rules are essential to prevent accidents, especially involving children. Injuries that include falls are serious, even from low elevations. Data from Australian hospitals report that 75% of accidental falls have children under five years of age.
Remember these Safety Protocols at Home
- Be aware of plants, furniture and other objects that children may use to climb the balustrade.
- Check the balustrade occasionally to make sure parts are firmly attached so children will not fit on the spaces between the railings.
- Do not allow children to go to balconies unsupervised. Lock the access, especially if children are near the area.
- Instal gates or barriers to prevent children from going near the balustrade.