Whether you live in a high-rise building or a multi-story apartment complex, safety should always be your top priority when it comes to balcony use.
In this article, we have compiled and explained 13 balcony safety ideas that will help keep you and your family safe when enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of your balcony.
By implementing these safety measures, you can rest assured that your balcony time will be both enjoyable and secure!
Summary of Tips to Ensure Balcony Safety
Balconies are great for enjoying fresh air, taking in beautiful views, and getting some sunshine. However, it is important to prioritize safety measures to avoid accidents, especially if you have children at home.
Safety measures for a balcony include everything from ensuring that the height of the railing is tall enough, to keeping balcony doors securely shut and avoiding storing items or luggage on the balcony as they can be used as a climbing aid.
For people considering installing a new balcony, the safety measures below should be considered.
Summary of 13 popular balcony safety ideas:
|Balcony Safety Ideas||Level of Difficulty||Estimated Price|
|Use child-safe balcony railings||Moderate to High||Low to High|
|Install balcony safety nets||Moderate to High||Moderate to High|
|Keep balcony furniture secure||Low to Moderate||Low|
|Install balcony door safety locks and window locks||Low to Moderate||Low to High|
|Avoid overcrowding on the balcony||Low||Free|
|Keep the balcony clean and tidy||Low to Moderate||Free|
|Keep the balcony well-lit||Low to Moderate||Low to Moderate|
|Avoid smoking on the balcony||Low||Free|
|Be prepared for emergencies||Low to Moderate||Low to Moderate|
|Use slip-resistant flooring materials||Low to moderate||Low|
|Regularly inspect and maintain the balcony||Moderate||Low to Moderate|
|Prevent break-ins with motion lights||Moderate||Low to High|
|Avoid using a grill on your balcony||Low||Free|
In the following paragraphs, we have expanded on the balcony safety tips from the table above, as well as concerns, and how to address them, with simple tips and measures to ensure balcony safety.
Let’s dive in!
Use Child-Safe Balcony Railings
Protecting children is an absolute must for parents and caregivers. That’s why it’s so important to install child-safe balcony railings – a potential danger to little ones if not addressed properly.
Luckily, there are plenty of options available on the market today when it comes to balcony railing design. These include:
- Glass railings for a sleek look
- Traditional vertical bar railings
- Horizontal railings
(The latter two must be spaced appropriately to deter small children from climbing and preventing them from pushing themselves through – thus reducing the risk of accidental falls).
For the safest and most secure installation process possible, it’s best to hire a professional to measure the balcony and select the right materials before assembling and attaching them.
Once the job is done, testing should be done to make sure that the balcony railing can hold up against both kids’ and adults’ weight. If you want your family to stay safe, then child-safe balcony railings are a necessary precaution.
Install Balcony Safety Nets to Enhance Safety
Even though balcony railings are fundamental on balconies – they might not be enough protection in your case and should probably be complemented with additional safety netting, safety mesh, or fencing, especially if there are gaps in the railing.
Balcony safety nets are therefore essential in any household with children, elderly, or pets. Accidents on balconies can be fatal, but installing a safety net can prevent such misfortunes.
If you’re mainly looking to cat-proof your balcony, check out our guide for this purpose.
Balcony netting is strong but flexible, providing a sturdy barrier between people and a potential fall. Not only do they provide protection, but they also enhance the aesthetic of a home, being available in different colors and sizes to match any style. There are also robust versions in metal or plexiglass available.
Again, we recommend seeking the help of a professional as they will be able to do the job without much hassle and make sure it’s installed properly – making the space as safe as possible. This means they have to fill in the gaps of ANY open area to prevent children and pets from accidentally falling.
Keep Balcony Furniture Secure
When it comes to furnishing a balcony, safety should be the number one priority. Unsecured outdoor furniture can easily be blown over in strong winds or bad weather and could provide a hazardous climbing opportunity for young children who love to climb.
To ensure security, durable anchors such as wall and floor bolts should be used to fasten the furniture securely to the balcony surface and away from the railing.
Taking the time to ensure your balcony furniture is properly secured will provide you and your family a safe outdoor space, while also protecting those passing by below.
Install Balcony Door Safety Locks
Balcony door safety locks and window locks are essential tools for keeping children safe. With the right locks, you can make sure that your little ones cannot access the balcony unsupervised.
There are several types of balcony door safety locks and window locks available:
- Key locks
- Electronic locks with code numbers or an app
- Plastic door locks
- Multi-point locks
For optimum safety, it is often recommended to install a multi-point lock for balcony doors.
Installing these locks is fairly easy and can be done with a few simple tools and a bit of time. If you’re not a handy person, you could hire a professional for the job.
Making the effort to install a balcony door child-safety lock as well as window locks can give you peace of mind knowing that your child won’t be able to wander out onto the balcony without your knowledge.
Avoid Overcrowding on the Balcony
When summer rolls around, there’s nothing quite like sitting out on the balcony and taking in the sun. But with the fun comes a few risks of overcrowding if too many people are trying to “squeeze” onto the same balcony.
To ensure that everyone can enjoy a safe and relaxing time, it's important to set rules for balcony usage, such as limiting the number of guests or creating specific times when each individual can use it.
Taking precautions like these can help prevent overcrowding and any potential hazards that could arise from having too many people in one small space – such as somebody falling over the railing or the balcony breaking away from the house and falling down… (yes, it does happen!).
So, while you’re planning your next outdoor get-together, make sure to keep safety top of mind by setting some sensible rules for balcony, deck, or patio usage!
Keep the Balcony Clean and Tidy
Clutter can accumulate quickly on our balconies, making them an unsafe environment to be in. Not only can this lead to slips and falls, but it can also provide a breeding ground for pests and other hazards.
To keep your balcony safe and sound, it’s important to maintain it regularly. This means getting rid of any loose or dangerous items, that could create tripping hazards or block access points.
Cleaning up any debris or dirt that may have accumulated over time is equally important. Also, make sure to inspect your balcony regularly for signs of damage or wear and tear.
Remember to avoid storing items or luggage on the balcony as they can be used as a climbing aid by curious kids.
If you really need to store items on your balcony (perhaps you don’t have children living in the house), choose containers that are designed specifically for outdoor use and place them in an accessible spot (away from the railing) that won’t interfere with movement or create an eyesore.
Need step-by-step advice on how to clean your balcony? Here’s our cleaning guide.
Keep the Balcony Well-Lit
One of the balcony safety ideas that people often miss implementing is having sufficient lighting in your balcony space.
Image from Pixabay
Whether you have a balcony off your bedroom, living room, or even outside of your apartment building, having the right lighting in place can make all the difference and prevent serious injuries.
Unfortunately, people sometimes step outside on the balcony in the evening and fall on objects left behind on the balcony floor – accidents that could have been prevented with some simple lighting.
Not only does balcony lighting help to provide visibility and safety, but it can also add beautiful illumination to your outdoor space.
There are many different types of balcony lighting options available, such as:
- Battery-operated lanterns
- String lights
- Modern LED lighting systems
Installing balcony lighting is quite simple and can be done in no time at all – just make sure that you choose the perfect option for your needs. Of course, you can also hire a professional to install lighting for you (or ask a lighting-savvy friend!).
With the right kind of balcony lighting in place, not only will you feel safer when enjoying your outdoor space, but you’ll also be able to enjoy its beauty at night.
Avoid Smoking on the Balcony
Smoking on the balcony can be a dangerous pastime. Not only can you be subject to fines in some areas, but you could also be putting yourself and your neighbors at risk of health risks and fires.
The smoke from cigarettes contains toxic chemicals and particles that can easily drift into other people’s homes, creating an unhealthy environment for those living nearby as well as bad relations between neighbors due to this nuisance.
It’s also important to follow common regulations and building rules (which can vary significantly depending on where you live).
Whatever you decide to do, please consider the safety of yourself and others before lighting up!
Avoid Using Grills on Your Balcony
Nothing beats a good old BBQ party, but when it comes to grilling on your balcony, it’s best to avoid using a grill altogether.
Sure, the idea of cooking up some juicy burgers while enjoying the view from your balcony sounds tempting, but think about the consequences…
“Ensuring balcony safety for kids, adults, and neighbors should be a top priority. You don’t want to put anyone’s life in danger or cause any damage to your home’s exterior.”
So, instead of taking unnecessary risks, why not choose ways to make your balcony safer, such as by simply avoiding using a grill altogether!?
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Being prepared for an emergency on your balcony can be the difference between life and death. Preparing for emergencies on your balcony means having essential items stored in an accessible location. Such items could, for example, be:
- Fire extinguisher
- First aid kit
Additionally, you should make sure that you have an evacuation plan in place – such as, if possible at all, having an alternate route off your balcony in case of fire or other emergencies – and practice it regularly with your family or roommates.
To this end, buying a retractable emergency fire escape ladder can be a good idea if you’re located on the first, second, or perhaps 3rd floor. If you, on the other hand, are located very high up, then obviously, this is not a completely safe option.
Finally, make sure you have access to any important documents you may need such as birth certificates, passports, or insurance information; all of which can be kept safe in waterproof containers.
Use slip-resistant flooring materials
The dangers of slipping and falling on a balcony can have serious consequences, which is why it’s so important to invest in slip-resistant flooring materials.
With a plethora of options available on the market today, you can easily find the right material to suit your balcony. From outdoor tiles with anti-slip properties to rubber mats designed specifically for balconies, there are plenty of great slip-resistant choices to keep your family safe from slips and falls.
Regularly Inspect and Maintain the Balcony
As regards crucial balcony safety ideas, we would finally like to stress the importance of regular maintenance and inspections. Unfortunately, as with many constructions, balconies can also be vulnerable to damage if they are not well maintained.
To ensure your balcony remains safe and beautiful for years to come, regular maintenance is essential. This includes tasks such as cleaning the surface regularly with proper cleaning products, checking for any structural damage, and making sure all fixtures are secure.
Scheduling regular inspections with a qualified balcony contractor is the best way to make sure everything is in good condition and potential issues can be addressed before they become bigger problems.
Taking these steps now can help you avoid costly repairs down the line – so, don’t forget to make regular maintenance of your balcony a priority!
Prevent Hazardous Break-Ins with Motion Lights
You may think that your balcony is a peaceful oasis in the sky, but it can also be a potential hazard when it comes to burglars. These sneaky intruders can easily climb up and break into your home through sliding doors or even jump from one balcony to another!
The worst part? most likely, you won’t be able to see them coming until they’re already inside. But don’t fret! There are ways to prevent break-ins via balconies.
First and foremost, install motion lights on your balcony (and around the perimeter of your home, if possible). This will deter any would-be burglars from approaching in the first place.
Secondly, make sure all sliding doors leading to your balcony are securely locked with reinforced locks or bars. Keeping balcony doors securely shut when you’re not on the balcony, but inside your home, will also prevent burglars from entering unnoticed.
Thirdly, if you have glass doors on your balcony, you can apply glass protection film on these to make them more secure.
By taking these preventative measures, you’ll be able to sleep soundly at night without worrying about a potential break-in via your balcony.
Here’s a useful video with additional safety measures for your home security:
Endnote on the best balcony safety ideas
In conclusion, balcony safety should always be a top priority for homeowners, especially if you have a toddler, kids and pets, or elderly family members living with you.
By implementing the above-mentioned apartment balcony safety ideas, you can create a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for your family to relax and unwind.
From installing child-safe balcony railings and balcony safety nets to maintaining and keeping your balcony clean and tidy, there are many simple and effective ways to ensure your balcony security.
Regular maintenance and inspections can also help you avoid costly repairs and keep your balcony in good condition for years to come.
Obviously, you will have to adjust as regards high-rise apartment balcony safety, or ground-floor apartment balcony or patio safety, and we recommend discussing these issues with your neighbors and the building board for the best possible outcome.
So, take the necessary precautions and enjoy your balcony time with serenity!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to get a permit to install balcony safety features?
The need for a permit to install balcony safety features varies depending on your location and local building codes. In some areas, a permit may be required for installing balcony railings, safety nets, or other safety features. It’s best to check with your local building department and/or the building board, to determine if a permit is needed and if additional things attached to the balcony are allowed.
How do I choose the right balcony safety features for my home?
Choosing the right balcony safety features for your home depends on various factors such as the type of balcony, the location of your home, and the activities you plan to do on the balcony. It’s best to consult with a professional balcony contractor who can assess your balcony and recommend the appropriate safety features based on your specific needs and to ensure that your balcony is childproof.
Can I install balcony safety nets myself?
It is not recommended to install balcony safety nets yourself. It’s best to hire a professional to install the safety nets to ensure they are properly installed and secure, and also because working on balconies is associated with safety risks.
What are the best materials for slip-resistant balcony flooring?
There are many materials available for slip-resistant balcony flooring, including outdoor tiles with anti-slip properties, rubber mats designed specifically for balconies, and composite decking with grooves and textures for slip resistance.
How often should I inspect and maintain my balcony?
It’s recommended to inspect your balcony at least once a year by checking for any structural damage, and making sure all fixtures are secure, etc. A professional can carry out this inspection. Regular maintenance which includes cleaning the surface regularly with proper cleaning products should be done at more regular intervals.
Can I smoke on my balcony?
Smoking on your balcony can be hazardous, both to your health and the health of your neighbors. Some areas have banned smoking on balconies, and it’s important to follow local rules and regulations. If smoking is allowed, it’s still recommended to avoid smoking on balconies to prevent the smoke from drifting into other people’s homes and creating an unhealthy environment, as well as potential accidental fires. It’s always best to prioritize the safety and well-being of yourself and those around you.