Unfortunately, a number of British holidaymakers are injured, and sometimes even killed, each year as a result of falling from the balcony of their accommodation. A fall can cause broken bones, severe fractures and head injuries.
The alcohol factor
Alcohol often plays a big part in this type of accident. People go on holiday to have a great time, then party hard and end up drinking too much. When they get back to their hotel room, they can misjudge their balcony’s railings or fool around too much, sometimes with tragic consequences.
Knowing how to drink in moderation can play a large part in reducing the risk of suffering a fall from a balcony. The following online resources can offer advice on sensible drinking:
- Drinking & You (www.drinkingandyou.com): Offers top tips on having a safe night out, defines moderate drinking and has a factsheet on international guidelines on responsible drinking.
- Cambridge University’s YouTube channel: Has a video called Stay Safe on a Night Out that provides guidance on the effects of drinking too much. While it’s aimed at the home student market, it has some useful interviews with A&E doctors, the police and bar owners on their experience of dealing with people who have drunk too much.
If you’re planning a stag or hen weekend away, it might be a good idea to avoid high rise hotels with balconies – just in case.
Health and safety standards may not always be the same overseas as they are in the UK. Sadly, children are often the casualty of unsafe balconies, staircases and windows because they are likely to want to explore their surroundings. If you are given accommodation with a balcony, check the following factors:
- How high the balcony rail is compared with the height of your children
- If the rail is loose in any way
- If balcony chairs next to the balcony will encourage children to climb on them to get a better look over the rail
If you’re unhappy in any way, don’t be afraid to ask to be moved to a ground floor room or to a room without a balcony. It’s the responsibility of your tour operator to make sure that your holiday meets reasonable health and safety standards.
If you do decide to stay in a balcony room on a higher level, make sure that the doors leading to the balcony are locked whenever you’re not using it and never lean or sit on the balcony rail.
Taking a few precautions at the start of your holiday should help you to avoid any serious hotel balcony accidents and let you enjoy yourself without worry.
Falling from your balcony at your hotel can have devestating consequences but it’s often down to the poor fixture and fitting of the balcony that causes the accidents.