Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Can Deck Netting Be Used to Childproof a Balcony?

Adrienne asks: "Can you use outdoor deck netting (Deck Shield Netting SF-DS-30CLR) to block the open area between the balcony top railing and the roof of the balcony to keep a child from falling over the balcony? If not, do you know of a product made to prevent falls from over a balcony railing?"

Dear Adrienne,

No, outdoor deck netting would not work in your application. Deck Shield is durable, weather-resistant plastic netting with cable ties and eye screws provided to attach the mesh netting to deck posts and to the deck surface. Without permanent supports attached to the balcony roof and the top railing, this netting could not safely block that opening.

One way to childproof that area would be to have a carpenter install a sturdy frame in that area. Safe Home Products sells both removeable Guardian Angel and John Sterling brand window guards that can be installed vertically inside that frame to protect that dangerous opening. If this was an exterior balcony above the 6th story, window guards need to be permanently fixed as most fire truck ladders don't extend above the 6th story. One customer had a similar frame installed along with Guardian Angel guards to childproof an interior balcony overlooking her family room.

Sincerely, Barbara

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At June 11, 2008 3:32 PM , Anonymous Noemi said...

I have an exterior balcony on the 6th floor with a concrete barrier that is about waist-high on an adult. My toddler loves to climb, so I'm concerned. How can I childproof this balcony?

At June 20, 2008 1:37 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

Dear Noemi,

Thank you for your comment and question about childproofing. Keeping a toddler safe on a balcony like yours is a challenge. In fact information I learned some years ago is that a waist high barrier is more dangerous than a higher one. (Student deaths on spring break in Mexico were higher when the balcony heights were waist high.)

Whether this is a condo unit or a rental unit, the first person to contact is the super. The second would be the local building inspector to learn what code or codes might apply. I've sent this on to one of my manufacturer's and am awaiting their input as well.

We sell window guards for vertical installations. When installed outdoors, some corrosion in the tubes is common due to moisture. Once installed the only time you'd need to compress them would be to remove them. Some WD-40 or similar lubricant might make this easier.

Please give me more information so I can suggest options. Include: height of the opening from the barrier to the roof, what supports or uprights if any there are along the balcony, whether the balcony is open on 3 sides or only on one side, and the widths of the openings.

If there are no uprights, a carpenter could frame in the balcony so that window guards could be adequately secured in that open space. The John Sterling expand; the Guardian Angel telescope. Some John Sterling units can expand up to 72 inches. The Guardian Angel can expand to 120 inches. JS are available in removable, swing open and fixed. The Guardian Angel all mount into brackets and can be removed completely.

Once I get the additional information, I'll add to these comments. Thanks. Barbara


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