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Safety Requirements for Balustrades, Pool Enclosures and Glass Balustrades

14 November 2019
Safety Requirements for Balustrades, Pool Enclosures and Glass Balustrades


  • Minimum height from the finished deck/floor level is 1000mm for residential buildings, 1100mm for areas of public access.
  • Access ramps and stair handrails must be between 900mm and 1000mm from the ‘pitch line’ or front edge of the stair treads.
  • All balustrades must have no gaps over 100mm either between uprights or under bottom rails etc.
  • Horizontal gaps between slats etc (such as Safa-Slat style) must be less than 15mm to avoid being used as a toe hold.
  • Handrails for public access stairwells must be continuous including the landings.
  • External decks with a waterproof coating cannot have balustrade top mounted where the fixings will penetrate the membrane. These decks must have the balustrade side fixed. A bracket or spacers can be used to mount the balustrade to if a drip edge and/or gutter is required.
  • Maximum post spans allowed for balustrades will depend on the type of deck, fixings required, wind loading, and glass types.
  • If a level deck is less than 1000mm above the ground level below, then a balustrade is not required.


  • All Pool fencing must have a finished height of 1200mm from the ground outside the pool or any climbable obstacle within 1200mm of the pool fence.
  • Pool fence latches must be 1500mm above ground level, or on a glass pool fence where the latch cannot be reached through the fence the latch can be 300mm down from the top on the inside of the pool fence.


  • Glass types will vary depending on the balustrade style, minimum glass thickness is for a balustrade with glass fixed to a top and bottom rail (eg. Avon or Candem) is 6mm toughened.
  • All exposed edges of balustrade glass are required to be polished.
  • Glass can be clear or tinted/frosted.
  • Frameless glass balustrades with standard 12mm toughened glass must have a continuous top rail that is securely fixed at each end to a wall or post etc.
  • To have a fully frameless glass balustrade with no posts or top rail, it must have laminated toughened glass with a Sentry interlayer that will stay upright if the glass is broken or damaged. Typically this will be 13.5mm or 17.5mm thick, or even 21.5mm for public area.