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Iron Guardrails and The Ontario Building Code

Iron guardrails can add a touch of class and elegance to residential properties and pools as well as commercial buildings. But while they are indeed beautiful, aesthetics are not the most important thing. The most important thing is that they provide the necessary safety features that they are meant to – and this can only be accomplished through strict compliance with the Ontario Building Code.

When ordering your iron guardrail, it is therefore extremely important that you only work with a supplier who is very familiar with OBC requirements – otherwise, your entire investment may be for nothing.

At Dufferin Iron, we provide beautiful iron guardrails, fences and gates for both homes and businesses – but our first priority is to ensure we only provide you with products that will meet the required building codes.  Let’s take a look at some of the requirements, here in Ontario.

Single family homes

It is said that most accidents take place in the home, and sadly many of these accidents are preventable. Falls from decks, porches and landings can often be prevented with the proper guardrail, since we instinctually reach out for something to steady us when we lose our balance.

Guardrails for single family homes must meet the following requirements according to the OBC:

  • On any landing where there is a drop of less than 5ft, 9 inches, the guardrail must be 36 inches in height.
  • If the landing has a drop of more than 5ft, 9 inches, the guardrail must be 42 inches in height.
  • Stair rails, whether they are mounted to the stairs or on walls, must be 36 inches high.
  • Vertical pickets must be no more than 4 inches on center.

Multi residential and commercial buildings

When dealing with multi residential and commercial buildings, the regulations are slightly different.

  • All landing guardrails, regardless of drop height must be 42 inches high.
  • Stair rails, whether they are mounted to the stairs or on walls, must be 36 inches high.
  • Vertical pickets must be no more than 4 inches on center.

Pool enclosures

Pool enclosures have a separate set of regulations for good reason. Every year, tragic drowning deaths occur because a child wandered into a pool area unsupervised. Even with a diligent parent or caregiver nearby by, it only takes a moment of distraction for the unimaginable to occur. Every responsible pool owner should ensure that they are following these OBC regulations:

  • Guardrails should be a minimum of 48 inches and should not be climbable.
  • Any gates leading into the pool area should be both self-closing and self-latching.
  • All pickets should be 4 inches on center.

In addition to all of the above requirements, it is also important that all guardrails meet the minimum lateral load requirements. After all, what good will these rails do if they fail to support a person who reaches out to steady themselves on them?

Remember when you are looking to have new iron guardrails installed, that compliance with the Ontario Building Code is key.  And when you order them from Dufferin Iron, you can be confident that you will not only meet the requirements, but you will receive a beautiful product as well.

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Do you have any railing questions? Do you want to request a quote? We would love to hear from you.

Dufferin Iron