Installing a deck can add visual appeal to your home and provide a space for entertainment or playtime. But which deck railing option is the safest for your space?
Questions To Ask Yourself
Before making your deck railing decision, you should know the answers to a few specific questions in order to ensure the railing meets your desired aesthetic and safety standards. Here are some of the questions you should consider as you review your railing options.
Is Cable Deck Railing Safe for Children?
Going with cable deck railing can provide a sleek, modern look for your home. When tensioned correctly, it provides the necessary strength to prevent children from slipping past the railing. Although, because of the railing’s horizontal design, many homeowners fear children will feel more inclined to climb to the top of the railing, which could lead to them falling off the deck.
Thankfully, many horizontal cable climbing concerns have been largely dismissed due to the significantly small percentage of child injuries related to climbing these rails. The BAHB and the NONMA state that 0.032 percent of children sustain injuries from cable deck installations compared to injuries from fences, countertops, windows, and doors.
Can You Child-Proof Your Deck Railing?
Even with the highest safety precautions, homeowners can’t always guarantee their child will not sustain an injury at some point. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider gap space between deck surfaces and railings, and open spaces between railings, as too much space could allow children to slip through.
Homeowners can reduce the chances of injury by providing effective direct supervision when spending time with their little ones on the deck. Furthermore, parents should follow the IRC standard to reduce gaps to less than four inches.
Which Deck Railing Is Safest?
So, which deck railing type is safest? There are a few factors to consider, including the height of the deck. A deck situated higher off the ground requires a taller railing to prevent visitors and residents from falling over the edge.
Furthermore, homeowners must consider the material the railing is made of. Railings often consist of wood or metal, which are less likely to break than materials such as plastic. Lastly, the railing should have as few gaps and openings as possible so objects, animals, and people can’t slip through.
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