Are You Choosing the Right Rooftop Railing Solution?

KeeGuard non-penetrating permanent railing

Selecting the right safety railing system is an important aspect of rooftop fall safety. Most people know they need a rooftop safety railing but aren’t sure which type is best for their requirements. Here’s a short guide to help better understand the ideal system for your rooftop.

What Type of Work is Being Done?

The first step is to understand the duration of time that you’ll need a fall safety system. Is the rooftop often accessed for ongoing maintenance or frequent use? Is it for a construction project that will be over in a month? These are the types of questions that can set you down the right path for what type of system you may need.

If you plan to set up a safety railing and leave it for the foreseeable future, you are most likely looking for a more permanent system. If you plan to take the system down within a year, or need to move the railing throughout your project, you might be needing a temporary safety railing such as G-Rail, C-Slab Grabber, or other temporary construction solutions. These systems are easy to set up and take down when needed.

What Kind of Installation do You Need?

Safety railings come in two main types; mounted and non-penetrating. There are different uses in each type.

parapet railing, penetrating


Safety railings that attach directly to the structure require drilling and bolting to a parapet that’s less than 42” tall or to the roof deck in order to provide safe functionality. Since it penetrates the structure, these railings aren’t as portable or mobile as non-penetrating systems but are able to be adjusted if needed.


Non-penetrating guardrails use counterbalances and weighted bases to provide a barrier between you and the hazard. They sit on the rooftop surface, avoiding the need to bolt to the structure which could cause leaks and potentially void a roof membrane warranty. There are many different versions to suit your unique needs but it basically comes down to two styles; permanent and temporary.

keeguard non-penetrating railing

Permanent, non-penetrating guardrails, such as KeeGuard, are designed to remain in place for decades. However, since KeeGuard doesn’t penetrate the roof, it can be disassembled to remove or make adjustments without any structural damage. This style will work if you need long-term rooftop fall protection but don’t want to bolt to any structures or penetrate your roof’s membrane.

temporary guardrails

Temporary guardrails are made as a fall safety solution for short-term needs. They are easier to assemble and disassemble making them the perfect solution for construction sites and areas of constant adjustment. This style will work if you need a simple fall safety solution for construction or short term projects. Temporary railing systems should be inspected by the user before each use.

Understanding your fall safety needs and use scenarios is crucial in picking the right type of railing. It can save you time, money, and headache. If you’d like to ensure you know what railing is best for your site, contact our experts at Simplified Safety for free rooftop consultation.

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