Fall protection systems for windows

Maximum safety, versatile designs and technical precision

Contemporary architecture with spaces flooded with light often requires the use of floor-to-ceiling windows. Low parapet heights or missing parapets make it necessary to use tested fall protection devices, also known as French balconies or window parapets.

With a full range of tested glass, bar and railing fall protection devices, Abel Metallsysteme offers high quality system solutions that provide safety but also a broad portfolio of designs: from the classic French balcony through to the “Vitrum Sine” glass fall protection device. All systems for fall protection devices are based on a modular construction, suitable for different types of windows, individually put together, have great designs and technically meet the building requirements. Thanks to customisations, we can also produce individual solutions exactly to your specifications.

Tested and patented fastening systems for fall protection devices

When installing floor-to-ceiling windows, statutory provisions and requirements need to be met, for example, attaching a so-called fall protection to the building structure. In order to satisfy the high safety requirements of the fastening connection, Abel Metallsysteme only uses systems with a general building authority test certificate (AbP) and recommends matching window fitting systems that are tested according to the ETB directive.

Marco Köllner
Tel.: 036967 5937 67 · email: mkoellner(at)abelsystem.de

Frequently asked questions about fall protection devices:

A French balcony is a balustrade on the outer level of a floor-to-ceiling window opening. It acts as a window fall protection device and at the same time as a design element of the façade. The French balcony is also known as a window parapet, balustrade or window bar.

Whether and from what height a window fall protection device must be installed is governed in the respective regional building regulations. People also often talk about the surrounding guard height.

The general rule is: from a fall height of 1.0 metre, a window must be secured against the risk of falling. An exception to this is posed by the Bavarian state regulations: here a French balcony is prescribed by law even from a fall height of 0.5 metres.

The regional building regulations treat the issue of window fall protection differently.

In the laws and ordinances, however, the following points are harmonised:

  • In the private sector, at a fall height of up to 12 metres, a parapet height of 0.90 metres is prescribed.

  • In the commercial sector, at a fall height of up to 12 metres, a parapet height of 1.00 metre is prescribed. This applies, for example, not only in Germany but also in Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

  • From a fall height of more than 12 metres, a Parapet height of 1.10 metres is prescribed.

Over and above this, the accident prevention and workplace regulations stipulated by the local authorities/communities must also be verified, as these may set stricter or differing regulations.

Glass and bar fall protection devices are used most frequently.

Abel Metallsysteme offers these design versions as system solutions. Our vertical railing systems as well as window bars are each available in aluminium or steel. With VITRUM SINE we offer a glass fall protection for floor-to-ceiling windows.

Yes. With a window fall protection device, the safety of people at home, at work or in public buildings is assured. Depending on the material, there are therefore special requirements and standards. For instance, DIN 18008/Part 4 governs the testing of glass window fall protection devices on floor-to-ceiling windows. The safety of the systems is tested by an independent, accredited test centre by means of a test concept that uses a so-called pendulum impact test. The shock-resistance of the glass fall protection device is determined here. At the end of a successful test, the product is given the “General building authority test certificate (AbP)”.

Our window fall protection devices made of glass are also structurally analysed by independent engineers and institutes to determine the effects of traffic and wind loads on the system. The VITRUM glass fall protection for floor-to-ceiling windows from Abel Metallsysteme thus has an abP and a system structural analysis ensuring maximum safety.

Our bar fall protection devices made of aluminium and steel have a system structural analysis. For maximum safety, we also work throughout Germany with leading structural engineers, universities and certified institutes/test centres and laboratories.

French balconies from Abel Metallsysteme are fitted directly in the window frame, at the front or on the side. The fall protection devices are attached with tested and patented fastening systems depending on the window profile. There are various patented systems for this purpose.

You can find out more about the fastening types for our French balconies here.

A fall protection from Abel Metallsysteme can be attached to any common window profile, provided the window was fitted in an accident-proof manner.

In principle, a French balcony can also be fastened to masonry as long as this complies with the technical guidelines. However, the following points go against this:

  • Evidence of the prescribed load transfer in the masonry usually unclear

  • Penetration of the building shell

  • Sealing not provided

  • A thermal bridge is created

  • Chain of evidence cannot be neatly presented

  • Often cannot be optimally implemented in optical terms

Our glass fall protection for floor-to-ceiling windows can be implemented up to a width of 3 metres.

Railing fall protection devices can be implemented up to 4 metres.

When fitting the French balcony, EPDM sealing disks are used wherever the material is prone to moisture.

Yes. Abel Metallsysteme has developed various solutions for attaching a French balcony despite shading options. This involves matching components consisting of fastening plugs and specially adapted brackets or spacers – depending on your installation situation.

In principle it is possible to install our glass fall protection as an impact-resistant pane: this depends on your installation situation.