Older condominium buildings with balconies were often constructed with rails that were that were 5 to 6 inches apart. Many small children can pass through a 5-6 inch opening. Construction standards have changed over the years because of injuries and deaths of small children who got through balcony railings.
Even though older balconies are generally grandfathered by the city and county building codes, the insurance industry is pressuring associations to bring railings up to the newer codes. Some insurance carriers have threatened to cancel insurance policies unless the changes are made.
If an association has balconies with railings that are more than 4 inches apart, board members should upgrade them as soon as possible.
Coast Management of California