Unprotected window at 2nd floor landing

Surprised to see this on a new build today.
Does anyone have a narrative they could flip my way?



· Safety Issue: Ideally, there should be a minimum clearance of 36-inches between the floor and the bottom of any window located on a staircase landing. Windows that are installed too low are potentially hazardous in that someone stumbling on the stairs could fall through the window. A guardrail should be installed in front of the window for improved safety. Location: .

Cheers Marcel

Merci beaucoup!

Marcel’s 36 inch clearance still applies, but that is not a landing. You might want to adjust the wording.

Fair enough Chuck, thanks.

Also should be/or tempered safety glass I believe
Did you notice a stamp in the corner of the glass?

Can be corrected adding a bar or handrail.
2 inch wide and handles 50lb horizontal pull 36 inch up.

It was tempered but I don’t know if it was rated to “act” as a guard.


If glass was tempered, then it should be acceptable and no guardrail required in my opinion.


Safety glass will not stop you from going through.
Bar required.

Stronger glass is still glass.

From what I gather with regards to safety, the glass has to either be strong enough to act as a guard or have a guard when located in a stairwell facing the steps. tempering just manages how it breaks.

5. Glazing in Section R308.4, Items 7 and 10, when a protective bar is installed on the accessible side(s) of the glazing 36 inches ± 2 inches (914 mm ± 51 mm) above the floor. The bar shall be capable of withstanding a horizontal load of 50 pounds per linear foot (730 N/m) without contacting the glass and be a minimum of 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) in height.

7. BOTTOM STAIR LANDING. Glazing adjacent to the bottom landing of stairs must be safety glass when it is within 60 inches horizontally of the bottom stair tread and less than 36 inches above the landing (see Figure 9). The reason for this is that a person falling down the stairs will roll into the landing. There is an exception for guards that intervene between the landing and the glass and are at least 18 inches from the glass.

Thanks for this Bob.



Is that a code somewhere that I’ve missed?

Its a Canadian thing. The National Building Code reads in part: Windows in Exit Stairways
1)Windows in exit stairways that extend to less than 1070 mm above the landing shall be
a) protected by guards, in accordanc with Section 9.8., or
b)non operable and designed to withstand the specified lateral loads for balcony guards as provided in Part 4.

As someone pointed out, this may not be considered a landing but the above should apply in my opinion.

Thanks for the reference. By the way, it’s definitely not a landing. It’s a winder stair.