Are you considering doing some home renovations or maybe starting out on a plan for your new home? One very important aspect that is generally overlooked is the safety of your stairway in and around your home. While it might seem like a lot of work, it is worthwhile investigating.  Safety and especially balustrade safety regulations in South Africa should always be your and the contractor’s first priority. Our range of Frameless Glass Balustrades are made up of the following 3 options:

  • Side Mount Balustrades
  • Balustrade Slotted into Floor
  • Balustrade with Floor Spigots

Common causes of stairway falls

The majority of stairway accidents are caused by a loss of balance. This may happen when we are rushing, trip over a stationary object on the ground, carrying a heavy load, or are distracted and not watching our footing. Because our perception of risk is so low, we often fail to use handrails.  These are designed to help mitigate falling, tripping or slipping dangers. Given that stairwell falls can lead to major injury and even death, building codes for staircases are very demanding.

Safety is one of the most important elements of the stairwell. You can align safety elements, such as balustrade systems, with your building’s design. And, these elements can even enhance how your space looks. According to the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), balustrading is a structural system that impedes the accidental or inadvertent passage of people and objects between the areas that it separates. If your balustrades are not installed under the SANS guidelines, this can result in structural failure or injury at some stage. Here are some of the elements that are included in SANS 10400 – the standard regulating balustrade safety regulations in South Africa:

There are usually two types of balustrades for residential use:
  • Top-mounted balustrades must be installed into a core-drilled pocket with a depth of a minimum of 120 mm. It must also be secured with a suitable non-shrink cement-based grout.
  • Side-mounted balustrades should always be impact drilled. It should be fixed with suitable chemical anchors.

There are different requirements for balustrades used in residential areas than those used in public areas. Balustrade safety regulations in South Africa for residential use require that there might not be an air gap greater than 100 mm anywhere in or along the system.  It should also have a minimum height of one meter. When looking for a contractor to install balustrades in a residential or public space, ensure the contractor is registered with its applicable statutory body and conforms to the SANS requirements. Do thorough checks and ask the contractor for references before you make a decision.

If you would like to invest in frameless glass balustrades for your home, contact Ambassador Doors and Windows today to find out about our options.