Regulations You Should Know About Before Installing a Balustrade
Are you considering installing a balustrade? It is important to familiarise yourself with the necessary regulations. This is especially important if you are having it installed at your place of business. By ensuring you adhere to regulations, you can avoid the wrath of health and safety officials as well as keep your premises safe.
Whether you are installing a balustrade at your home or on your commercial premises, one thing to remember is that there are regulations in place. More importantly, you could be putting people’s safety at risk, so it helps to know what you can and can’t do.
Some of the key regulations to bear in mind
There are some important factors to consider when it comes to installing balustrades. The rules and regulations vary based on whether the installation is taking place in your home, or at a public place/business premises. Below are some of the key regulations that you need to think about before having this type of work carried out:
The height of the balustrade:
You need to consider regulations relating to the height of the balustrade. This will vary based on where the balustrade is being installed i.e. in your home or a public place/place of business. It will also depend on whether it is for the inside of the building or outdoors. So, you need to make sure you check the balustrade meets the required height regulation.
The height regulation is currently 0.9 metres from the datum to the top of the handrail for a staircase. For landings, balconies, and external areas, the height regulation currently stands at 1.1 metres.
Regulations regarding the materials used:
Another thing you will need to consider is regulations regarding the materials that you can use. Under UK regulations, there are no material types that are banned from use for balustrades. Generally, the most common options tend to be metal or wood. While there are no prohibitions based on the type of material, regulations state that any material used must be rigid and sturdy enough to withstand pressure.
If you want glass balustrades:
In some cases, people decide that they want glass balustrades for a more modern appeal. If this is the case, you need to ensure you use the right type of glass for health and safety reasons. There are two types that are considered safety glass and are therefore suitable for balustrades. This includes toughened glass and laminated glass. Both of these types are put through impact tests to ensure safety.
Regulations regarding weight:
Another thing you need to look at is the weight that the balustrades have to cope with. This is measured in kilonewton metres or kN/m. At present, the requirement for domestic balustrades is 0.36kN/m for handrails and 0.74kN/m for balconies. For public areas, it can vary from 1.5 – 3.0 kN/m based on the size of the building.
Deciding on the best balustrades
Once you have checked the regulations, you will have a better idea of what you need to look for when it comes to your balustrades. All you need to do then is decide on the style and material that best suits your needs.
When you are deciding on the best balustrades for you, make sure you consider the environment that you will be having them installed in. This will make it easier to determine the most suitable style and material. You also need to consider where they are being installed so that you can ensure that they meet the specific requirements.
Cost is another factor that you will need to take into consideration when choosing balustrades. The materials and size of the balustrades will have an impact on how much you will pay.