BCAB #960A - Balcony Guards, Appeal #960, Article 18.104.22.168.
August 2, 1988
Re: Balcony Guards, Appeal #960, Article 22.214.171.124.
With reference to your letter of May 24, 1988, requesting a review of our decision on Appeal No. 960. Your letter also refers back to Appeal No. 23, which rejected 2 inch square chain link mesh for an exterior balcony guard.
It is not possible to give a clear, definitive answer to the question in your letter, but we feel that the rationale behind the two decisions quoted may provide a reasonable guide.
Article 126.96.36.199. basically attempts to reduce the possibility of children climbing up and over balcony guards, which we interpret as directed towards extremely young children. In addition it must be assumed that a normal active child would be a able to climb a vertical surface with little assistance. For these reasons the application of Article 188.8.131.52. must be purely a question of value judgment, we know of no adequate criteria available for assistance.
In dealing with Appeal No. 23 we had no difficulty. As a practical example this mesh is commonly used as a backstop for baseball diamonds and very young children can be a nuisance climbing the mesh to heights far exceeding the requirement for guards. Accordingly, we rejected the concept .
In the case of Appeal No. 960, the design combined vertical and horizontal members. The vertical members were spaced 11/2 inches apart and were located on the inside face of the guard. While, as mentioned earlier, an active child would climb this even without horizontal members, we decided that because such members were fixed on the outside face of the guard, the spacing and thickness of the vertical members made them reasonably unaccessible. Accordingly, the design was accepted, but had the horizontal members been located on the inside face, it would have been rejected.
Under the circumstances we find no reason to modify the decision made under Appeal No. 960, but trust that the explanation may be of assistance.
J.C. Currie, Chair