Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The balustrade height regulations

What regulations rule the balustrade industry?

Surprisingly, one of the most common searches throughout the internet regarding balustrades isn’t actually where to find them: it’s people, like me and you, looking for the legal requirements you need to get a balustrade installed in your business/home. Due to health and safety reasons, there are heights that need to be met by balustrades and railings in order for them to be installed safely from use by the general public. In this blog, we’ll discuss the code of practice with balustrades, ensuring you’re meeting the legal requirements!
What are the laws regarding balustrades?
If you’re planning on installing a balustrade inside of your business, you’re required to meet the height of 0.9m from “datum” (datum is a reference to the point in which you stand on) all the way to the top of the handrail. This is good for businesses to know, as they will need to check their designs are fit to protect their customers and the public.
For external balustrades or balconies, you’ll need to meet a higher size of 1.1m from datum. This is to ensure that people around the balustrade itself will have a much lower percentage of falling over the top. Consider what your balustrade is going to be used for: are there going to be children around it regularly, sitting on furniture? Balustrade laws changed in businesses when the hazard of children falling over the balconies of shopping centres became an existent problem.
It’s also good to remember that balustrades with an older height that are situated in an area that accommodates large crowds should be subject to continuous risk assessments to ensure maximum safety is kept.
Balustrades and balconies are installed for safety
Balustrades and balconies are installed for safety
A good thing for businesses to remember...
All businesses across the UK should remember that you’ll need to meet the balustrade standards in order for them to be approved for health and safety reasons. Be sure to assess the risks and implement any strategies to counteract potential danger hazards to children or adults.
Though we recommend this highly, we also understand that you cannot immediately replace or modify older balustrades simply due to their age or financial constraints. There are a number of alternatives that you can implement to ensure the safety of those who use your balustrade.
In summary...
Remember that whilst balustrade systems may not have lenient rules, they’re enforced for a reason. You need to ensure overall safety of everybody at all times when using your balustrades!
For more on balustrade heights, designs, regulations and builds, please visit our balustrading website.
What did you think of this blog? Let us know in the comments below!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Choosing the right balustrade material

Each material has its own individual properties that have both advantages and disadvantages.

balustrades

 Along with these, they all require different levels of maintenance. The common materials for balusters and balustrades are usually aluminium and glass.

Aluminium balustrades will often come powder coated thus having a hard exterior and shiny finish in comparison to any paint finish. Aluminium is the ideal choice for an exterior of any balustrades for commercial or domestic properties because of the fact that this material is practically resistant to any weather climate.

 Glass is frequently categorised as the fragile material, however, when used for balustrades, the glass is often hardened for it to withstand heavy weights.

 Both of these materials will obtain a gradual build up of grime, smudges and dirt, especially with commercial use. There is the possibility to choose self-cleaning balustrades which would lead in lower maintenance.

 Following on from maintenance, to make sure that the powder coating on the aluminium balustrades doesn't start to disappear, clean them using a soapy cleaner that isn't too strong and warm water.

Glass balustrades will only require a soapy water and warm water.

  To view our stock of balustrades, please visit our website!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Is your Balustrade CE marked?

1. From 1st July 2013, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) came fully into force. This means that it will be mandatory for products covered by a harmonised European standard (hEN) to have CE marking.  For help finding out whether your products are covered by a hEN, please use our CE marking enquiry form
2. CE marking for products not covered, or not fully covered, by a hEN will be voluntary and available via the European Technical Assessment (ETA) route.
3. Requirements relating to CE marking can be found in the hEN's Annex ZA or the European Technical Assessment (ETA).
4. Under the CPR, the whole supply and distribution chain must take responsibility, which means that not only manufacturers but their importers and distributors need to be aware of any essential characteristics or specific requirements of member states.
5. Organisations, like the BBA, need to be notified to carry out work relating to CE marking.
6. Insurance may become invalid if non CE products are used.
Found out more on Balustrade's site

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A look into balustrade design

So, balustrades are incredibly diverse, but why should you buy one?

A balustrade system could be just the ticket you need in order to add an element of style and sophistication to your home. Being a cornerstone part of the commercial buildings we visit every day, they provide safety for people accessing decks, stairwells and more. It’s important to remember that choosing the right balustrade can be a tricky process because it should fit both the needs of you and any members of the public that may enter your store, but there are a number of factors to take into account before having a balustrade installed.
What exactly is a balustrade?
Balustrades can come in a number of forms, yet there are two main types of balustrade: with handrails and without. They are made from a number of materials, being used to enhance safety in any buildings.
If you were to look at a stairwell, the balustrade in this instance is the little posts that connect either end of the railings together. A balustrade system will typically include a top and bottom rail, as well as any infill material. The infill is the protective barrier this lies in between the top and bottom rails.
Stainless Steel Balustrade
An example of a Stainless Steel Balustrade in a business environment
Its law that balustrades are required on the open side of a staircase/balcony, yet there are a vast range of systems to choose from, all of which provide benefits in style and safety.
Can you custom make a balustrade?
Having bespoke balustrades installed is an incredibly popular way to tailor the interior design of your home or store. Installing custom made balustrades allows you to match the needs and style of your property. You can choose from a vast range of materials and styles.
Choosing the perfect balustrade for business
Given that the balustrade is going to be installed into a commercial property, you’ll need to take into the account the overall safety of the system, as it will be bound by safety requirements that it must meet.
Example of balustrade in business
Example of balustrade in business
In it design, architectural glass is a good choice for balustrades, as they offer a modern look that oozes both style and elegance. It’s most commonly used in shopping centres and government buildings as it’s an incredibly versatile design that can be made to fit your own building requirements.
What material should I choose?
Each material that you can choose for your balustrade will naturally having it own advantages and disadvantages, varying on its maintenance levels. Aluminium is a good choice in your commercial building, as it’s strong and an incredibly durable metal, one that holds fantastic resistance to corrosion. These advantages of the material are ideal for balustrades that will sit on the exterior of either a commercial or domestic building, as the material will be resistant to a number of weather conditions.
Although glass is viewed as a fragile material that can be broken easily, the glass that’s used in balustrades is often toughened up so it can withstand greater amounts of force.
So, what do you think of our balustrade systems? You can view them here!
For more on balustrades, please visit our website.