Although finding the right style of balustrades for your property is fairly simple, the process for installing them can sometimes be more complicated.
Before installing balustrades on your property, you’ll need to make sure they comply with industry standards and regulations.
Here in Queensland, there are strict standards set for the installation of balustrades and pool barriers. These regulations are designed to ensure the safety and functionality of balustrades and fencing, setting measures to prevent accidents and maximise safety in high-risk areas.
It’s also important to know that there are different rules and regulations for different types of balustrades, and these can also vary depending on their size and location. Regulations for deck balustrades, for example, will be different from the requirements for pool fencing.
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Here’s a quick guide for some of the most important rules and regulations that you need to know when installing balustrades in your property:
Decks and Balconies
The rules and regulations for deck and balcony balustrades are particularly strict in Queensland because balustrades are commonly used in properties throughout the state. The most important rules involve requirements for the dimensions and specifications of these barriers:
- Any deck or balcony that’s more than one metre above the ground will require a balustrade that’s also at least one metre tall. It should also not contain any gaps or openings (i.e. balustrade posts, space between the floor) that are more than 125 millimetres wide. This requirement also applies to stair railings and sloped balustrades.
- Balustrades in decks, balconies, or stairs that are more than four metres above the ground cannot have any climbable elements (ex. horizontal railings) located between 150-760 millimetres from the floor.
- Balustrades and handrails in stairs must also be at least 865 millimetres tall from the ‘nosing’ of the stair tread across the entire length of the stairs.
For more details on the regulations for this type of balustrades, please check the relevant building codes for balustrades in decks, balconies, and stairs from the Department of Housing and Public Works.
All pools in Queensland must comply with pool safety standards, which specify the presence of pool barriers in every pool area to prevent drowning and injuries.
If you have a pool in your property, then you need to make sure your pool fencing complies with regulations. Some of the fundamental rules include:
- Pool barriers must be at least 1200 millimetres tall, measured from the finished ground level.
- Any gap or opening between the bottom of your barrier and the finished ground level should not be more than 100 millimetres.
- There should be no climbable objects within 900 metres of your pool balustrade. This is the standard 900mm non-climbable zone for every pool balustrade. If there any climbable objects within this range, then they must be properly shielded to prevent kids and young children from climbing them.
- If your pool balustrade is less than 1800mm tall and has verticals that are more than 10mm apart, then there should also be no climbable objects within 300mm of your barrier on the inner side.
- If your pool balustrade is more than 1800mm tall, the 900mm non-climbable zone may also apply on the inner side of your fence. Make sure there are no ground elements inside that could reduce the effective height of your fence.
- Pool barriers must have gates that are self-closing, self-latching, and outward-opening. The latches on these gates must also be at least 1500mm above the ground and 1400mm from top of any lower horizontal railing. If latches are located inside, then they need to be at least 1200mm above the ground 1000mm above any lower horizontal railing.
For more information on the compliance standards for pool balustrades, please read through the QBCC’s guide for pool safety and compliance.
Consult with Professionals
If you’re not sure whether your balustrades (old or new) comply with regulations, don’t hesitate to consult with balustrade professionals who can guide you. By complying with these rules and guidelines, you can make sure your balustrades are safe, effective and built to last.
Ensuring your balustrades are compliant may take some work, but it’ll be worth it to protect you and your family.