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Building Requirements to Protect from Falls

Construction Requirements for Fall Prevention

The protection of openable windows and handrails in houses and apartments have long been an issue where people, especially children, are at risk of falling from a height and being injured, or worse.

The Building Code of Australia now requires new buildings to comply with the following :

Where a window sill is located more than 2 metres above the surface below, it must comply with –

  • The internal window sill is to be more than 1.7 metres above the internal floor OR
  • Be fitted with a device capable of restricting the window opening more than 125mm OR
  • Be fitted with an approved screen with secure fittings.
  • Existing buildings, particularly units, are now required to retro fit devices restricting the window opening or install an approved screen with secure fittings.


There have been upgrades to the Building Code due to people falling from balconies or other elevated structures.

The Building Code of Australia requires handrails to be fitted where the trafficable area is more than 1 metre above the surface below including :

  • Any roof, stairwell or ramp where a person can access.
  • A floor, hallway, balcony, deck, verandah or access bridge, walkway or the like.
  • All openings in the above must not exceed 125mm.  That includes the gaps in handrails and treads in an open staircase.

Questions and Advice

If you’re unsure whether your home or apartment is compliant with regards to windows, balcony handrails and more, contact us today for an expert opinion and inspection report.

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