Apartment Complex terraces can be compared to oxygen tanks in the backdrop of rising urban congestion and population. While the scarcity of space is becoming increasingly inevitable, children and the elderly are affected majorly, due to lack of areas for play and recreation.
Some housing societies may provide small play areas for children; however, since these complexes have large terraces, these wide and open spaces can be very alluring to children who are constantly on the lookout for play and recreation areas. For this reason, safety measures for terraces should be taken and followed in a housing society.
General Terrace Safety Measures That Can Be Taken
Certain guidelines need to be followed keeping in mind the safety of the children who constantly play in areas like the housing society terrace.
- The parapet wall has to be at least 1.5 meters high.
- Durable and sturdy iron railings can be planted over the parapet wall, to additionally discourage children from climbing the wall.
- Children or infants may slip through the railings if they are planted right at the base for extra visibility. Therefore, the height of the parapet wall is an important factor.
- Accessibility should be restricted and the door to the terrace should be locked. All housing society members may come to an agreement about a particular time of the day when the terrace can be accessed.
- The keys to the terrace can be left with a security guard, who can be stationed near the terrace. Alternatively, every family may be given their own set of keys, so that individual access is possible. However, in that case, parental supervision becomes imperative for all residents.
- If a common time is earmarked for the use of the terrace, either for early morning walks or evening strolls and games, safety measures will be easier to enforce. Other than security personnel, some volunteers may be chosen to supervise the terrace during these times.
- The terrace floor needs to be kept clean and there should be some anti-skid mechanism in place. Water accumulation, moss and the growth of fungus can pose a fatal threat to users.
Housing Society Terrace Gardens
Many housing societies, in an attempt to compensate for the lack of greenery in their surrounding areas, construct roof-top gardens, and these gardens have ecological and practical benefits. They provide a much needed dash of greenery in the concrete jungle. Roof top gardens prevent the building from absorbing too much heat, by cutting down the terrace’s exposure to the sun and radiation.
These roof top gardens very often constitute of not only plants but also outdoor furniture and they offer a space of entertainment and relaxation to residents and their guests.
If your housing society houses a terrace garden, care should be taken to ensure that there are no provisions through which children can climb parapet walls. Chairs and tables should be placed strategically away from the walls or railings.
A coating of anti-climbing paint (when used on the inner and outer parts of the parapet wall) can be sufficient to prevent anybody from climbing the wall and exposing themselves to danger. These paints remain indefinitely slippery and provide additional safety for terraces.
You can bring up these points during an apartment association meeting, so that the apartment association can arrange for such measures to be taken.
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