There’s a new video warning of a new risk when hanging yourself from a balcony railing: the risk of a person falling from the balcony railing into the water below.
The warning comes as a new study has found that in a study of the balconies of a dozen buildings, balcony safety has been compromised.
The study by the Toronto-based company Hanging Safety Associates found that, while the balconys of nine of the buildings had balcony railing that’s designed to withstand the impact of falling, it’s not the case for all of them.
“We’re not talking about a building where there is no railing at all, but the balconiest of the ones that we looked at, they were all in the high-rise segment, the buildings that have balconies that are not designed to take the impact,” said HangingSafety Associates’ executive director and CEO, Mark Smith.
The new study was released Tuesday.
It looked at balcony railing design, and how well the design meets the guidelines for a safe, vertical position.
The researchers looked at the balconie designs for the buildings they studied.
The balconies were chosen because they are a popular location for events and activities in Toronto.
The study found that balcony railing was not a factor in the deaths of four people from the balconier railing.
But the researchers did find that balconies with railing designs that are at least slightly lower than those that were used were less likely to be at risk of collapse.
“We found balconies are not necessarily more likely to fail and there’s some evidence of that with older buildings, which are older buildings and they are the ones we looked specifically at,” said Smith.
“In the cases we looked into, the older balconies, the balconiers were actually at higher risk of failure.”
The researchers also found that there was some evidence that balconys with railing design that is designed to be able to withstand a fall from a height of 60 centimetres, or less, are at higher than expected risk of having the balcony collapse.
The researchers found that one of the oldest balconies in Toronto, the One Toronto Building, which was built in 1884, had the highest risk of balcony railing failure.
“So, in the end, we’re just not saying balconies have a higher risk, but we’re saying there are things you need to be careful of when hanging, especially with balconies where there’s a railing at least a little bit lower than the height of the railing,” said Dr. Gregor Leysen, who was the study’s lead author.
The findings have sparked some debate about whether balcony railing should be used at all in Toronto’s high-rises, and whether the design is actually safe.
“I think it’s really important to note that balconie railing is designed for use in a high-end residential structure,” said Leysengen.
“There’s a lot of people who are building high-ceilinged apartments in Toronto who are also building balconies.
We are concerned that the balconying design could create a risk to people falling from balconies.”
The balconies study comes on the heels of a study conducted last week by the University of Toronto’s architecture faculty, which found that balconists in high-floor apartments were not more likely than those in other buildings to fail.
“I think we need to look at this a little more carefully, but it seems that balcony safety is more likely in high floors than in other types of buildings,” said Michael Aylward, a professor of architecture and urban design at the university.
Aylward said the study is a reminder that balcony security is a topic that is often ignored.
“The balcony is the heart of the apartment.
It’s really hard to do anything about that,” he said.”
There are a lot more things we need in the city that we have not even started to think about yet, like the pedestrian plaza, the public transit network, the pedestrianized core, and other things that are really going to take us to a better place in terms of our urban planning and planning for our transportation system,” said Aylway.
Toronto’s new balcony safety code comes into effect on July 1.
If you or someone you know is in a balcony at a building, call 311 to report a balcony safety incident.
If you or anyone you know needs help, call the Toronto Fire Department at 416-808-7400 or 416-727-9424.