Below is a rail on a deck that is about 7' off the ground.
There is a rail there, and it is at least 36" high above the surface of the deck. So far so good. However, there is a problem. Some of the spaces, gaps, between the rail are as wide as 7". Now, at one time, do-it-yourself books used to state that a rail should not have any gaps wider than 6". However, today, that standard is no gap wider than 4".
The reason for this is simple: A child might be able to get through a gap that is wider than 4". With safety, far as I can tell, rules almost always become more strict. Very seldom, do they backoff or go backwards.
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspections