Why are there Australian Standards for Balustrades?

Balustrades are safety barriers that are utilised in both residential and commercial structures on stairways, balconies, verandas, and many other areas. Although there are many aesthetic design options when it comes to choosing balustrading for your home, its primary function is to prevent accidents from falling from great heights. Thus, making it a particularly important component of your home. So, read this article to find out how secure your balustrades are.

Australian Standards for Balustrades

The Australian standards define the requirements and design processes to guarantee that balustrades and their installation are performed securely and responsibly. You may have seen different designs of balustrading while browsing through the houses of Melbourne. Some older-style residences feature wooden balustrading, while modern constructions usually have metal or a more contemporary glass-style balustrading. All balustrading, regardless of design, must meet current Australian Standards. Balustrades that don’t adhere to Australian standards may end up being the cause of fatal accidents.

Poorly maintained balustrades give off a false impression of security and may collapse if an adult leans on them. Furthermore, if a balustrade doesn’t satisfy the current Australian Standards for height and gap requirements, young children may be able to fit through them or climb over them, which might result in serious injury or even fatality. Sometimes, even a minor fall can turn deathly.

Australian standards for the placement of balustrades

The majority of structures, including private dwellings, are required to have a safety barrier, such as balustrading, on any stairways, balconies, or decks that are more than 1000 mm above ground level. Where there is a change in elevation greater than 1000 mm from ground level, railings must also be fitted. The distance between the floor and the top surface of the railing must be at least 865 mm. According to Australian standards, the handrails must be continuous, and they must run the entire length of at least one side of the elevation.

Australian standards for gaps and heights in balustrades

Once erected, the balustrade’s entire height must be at least 1000 mm above the floor landing, such as at the top of a flight of steps where a fall to the ground could be as high as 1000 mm. The minimum height standard is 865 mm from floor level for stairways, ramps, and transitional landings of 500 mm or less. To reduce the chance of falling over the top of the barrier, there are certain height standards for the balustrade.

According to the specifications for balustrading gaps, a 125mm sphere should not fit through the opening. The balustrading’s 125 mm dimension is taken vertically from the stair treads’ nosing lines to the bottom of the barrier when it is a part of a stairway. These gap specifications are meant to avoid the problem of small kids fitting through the openings and falling or being stuck.


Balustrades are important architectural fittings for safety against accidental falls from heights. Thus, these are guided and regulated by Australian building standards to maintain uniformity and safety in practice. If you are looking to update your home balustrades, check out the stair balustrade design from Active Metal to find the best designs and durable quality.

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