Message - Re: Stair protection

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Posted by  JWmHarmon on January 08, 2003 at 23:34:16:

In Reply to:  Stair protection posted by Florencia on January 08, 2003 at 10:05:51:

Linked below is one company that offers stair railings. I just happened to have their catalog at hand. I'm sure there are many other companies that offer stair railing products. I ahve no connections with this company.

Are you interested in architectural quality products or less expensive home store products?

With a baby in the house, one must also consider a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs.

You will often see in architectural magazines, stairs without rails. This is an unsafe condition which should be avoided at all costs. ALL stairways should have a handrail and stair rails spaced not more than three inches apart to protect toddlers and crawling babies. They should not be able to put their heads through the gaps in the railing. There is a danger of strangulation if they get their heads stuck and lose their balance and can't pick themselves up. Stairs should also have a lower hand rail in addition to the standard height handrail. The lower handrail should be provided for small children for whom the standard handrail is too high.

Falling down the stairs is a leading cause of injury in the home. Having a handrail that is small enough in cross section so that the average human hand can grasp it helps to prevent falls.

One stay in the hospital for a head injury would more than pay for the cost of the handrail. One trip to the emergency room for a broken arm will cost more than a basic handrail.

When designing a handrail, one should consider that people of all ages, from the smallest toddler to the frailest person 80 or 90 years old may be using the stairs. Try to imagine hopping up the stairs with one broken leg, holding on to your crutches while also holding on to the handrail for stability. You will sometimes see handrails that are made of wood or other material that does not permit the hand and fingers to wrap around the railing. Think of the arthritic hand that has to try to grasp this type of railing. All designs should take into consideration the fact that your aging mother may someday be visiting. Handrails should be continuous with no breaks. Imagine trying to hold on to the handrail in the dark when the power goes off.

The first priority of a stair design is to make it SAFE for all who may use it over the entire life of the building.

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