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Title: Section 509  •  Size: 4705

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509.1 Where Required. Unenclosed floor and roof openings, open and glazed sides of stairways, landings and ramps, balconies or porches, which are more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade or floor below, and roofs used for other than service of the building shall be protected by a guardrail.

EXCEPTION: Guardrails need not be provided at the following locations:

1. On the loading side of loading docks.

2. On the auditorium side of a stage, raised platforms and other raised floor areas such as runways, ramps and side stages used for entertainment or presentation. Along the side of an elevated walking surface when used for the normal functioning of special lighting or for access and use of other special equipment. At vertical openings in the performance area of stages.

3. Along vehicle service pits not accessible to the public.

509.2 Height. The top of guardrails shall not be less than 42 inches (1067 mm) in height.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. The top of guardrails for Group R, Division 3 and Group U, Division 1 Occupancies and interior guardrails within individual dwelling units, Group R, Division 3 congregate residences and guest rooms of Group R, Division 1 Occupancies may be 36 inches (914 mm) in height.

2. The top of guardrails on a balcony immediately in front of the first row of fixed seats and which are not at the end of an aisle may be 26 inches (660 mm) in height.

3. The top of guardrails for stairways, exclusive of their landings, may have a height as specified in Section 1006.9 for handrails.

509.3 Openings. Open guardrails shall have intermediate rails or an ornamental pattern such that a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) in diameter cannot pass through.

EXCEPTIONS: 1. The open space between the intermediate rails or ornamental pattern of guardrails in areas of commercial and industrial-type occupancies which are not accessible to the public may be such that a sphere 12 inches (305 mm) in diameter cannot pass through.

2. The triangular openings formed by the riser, tread and bottom element of a guardrail at the open side of a stairway may be of such size that a sphere 6 inches (152 mm) in diameter cannot pass through.

For guardrail requirements at grandstands, bleachers or other elevated seating facilities, see Section 1021.5.7.

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