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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flat Top Rails: Attractive Option or Design Danger?

This balcony system's flat top rail looks great - but is it safe?
Balcony railings have the distinct ability to allow us the freedom to experience our world outdoors - in full panorama - from a higher-than-normal altitude.  From seascapes and landscapes to cityscapes and more, balconies offer a secure place to rest our arms while taking a picture, or while simply taking in the view.

Although attractive in appearance, many top rails on balcony railing systems are flat, not curved.  This variation in design shouldn't be a problem, but in reality, it holds a hidden danger - even if the railing is structurally sound and up to code.

Items placed on flat top rails of balconies
can injure the pedestrians below.
These days, many of us can be found juggling at least one or two items in our hands, whether it's a cell phone and a ring of keys, or a beverage - such as a cup of coffee, or a bottle of water.  Mindlessly setting an object atop a flat top rail can not only be dangerous to your belongings, it can cause serious damage to objects and people below.

The easy fix? Only choose to include round top rails for your multi-story balcony railing designs.   Aside from being a more cost effective solution than its counterpart, round top rails completely remove the creation of a ledge-type surface, thereby removing any potentially dangerous situation.

When creating plans for your next high rise hotel or condominium, consider the dangers of designing guardrails that feature flat top rails.

Unsuspecting pedestrians (and customers) will thank you.

CLICK HERE for more information on aluminum architectural railings.

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