Barriers attached to building structures serve a functional purpose. The function doesn’t intend to make visitors seem unwelcome or make them feel trapped. Rather, New York buildings with appropriate barriers could keep people safe. Barriers, such as high railings, keep people from crossing into areas that could be dangerous. When a building lacks appropriate barriers, someone could get hurt, and the building’s owners may face negligence claims.
The value of barriers
Apartment buildings may come with swimming pools, and those pools may appear prominently in advertising for rentals. Without a gate surrounding a swimming pool, a hazard exists, especially for young children. Restricting access to the pool might cut down on tragic outcomes.
Similarly, high railings could prevent falls from heights. Multi-story buildings may come with architecture that allows visitors to look beyond balconies and rooftops to look at the city landscape. A lack of effective rail might result in fatal slip-and-fall accidents. Sadly, a lack of barriers could increase access to those considering suicide and deliberately jumping from great heights.
The matter of liability
Premises liability involves an owner not taking the necessary steps to prevent harm to visitors. Not putting up railings and barriers could place negligence firmly on the owner’s shoulders when someone falls and is injured.
However, installing a barrier might not be enough. Owners should ensure the barrier is the right one. A low railing could be easy to jump over, so a low barrier may be inadequate. Have people jumped the barrier before? If so, the owner could be liable if not taking steps to increase the railing height and make jumping over it more challenging.