The most common accidents at home involve the stairs. Stair-related injuries may be a result of poor planning, low-quality materials, and ineffective design. Some accidents involve activities while going up or down the stairs. They are not given a clear view of the steps since they are preoccupied with something else. The fall from the stairs can be fatal. Considering the users of your household, you have to ensure that these accidents are prevented.
Handrails are commonly used to provide support when accessing the stairs. It serves as a handhold in case of unwanted accidents such as slipping or tripping on the steps. These circumstances will give you a comprehensive view of the importance of smart stair planning. Allow your handrails to provide support when accessing the stairs with these helpful tips.
Here are 6 helpful tips to keep your handrails safe for your household!
1. Follow the Safety Standards
Handrails are used for weight support when accessing the stairs. It is required to follow the safety standards for both commercial and residential structures. The safety standards are computed to support the weight of its users in case of fall. From the dimensions to the design, it should be aligned to the national building code to prevent unwanted stair-related injuries.
The standard railings consist of the handrails, immediate rails, and posts. The required height for handrails is 1 to 1.3 meters from the ground. It’s not too high and not too low either. They’re high enough to rest your hand. Consider the user’s strength such as the children and the elderly. They require extra effort to access the stairs. This is why you have to adjust to the handrails’ height in accordance with the reach of the users.
2. Consider the Material to be Used
Material composition plays a crucial part in handrails design. Most people play with different materials to come up with their desired look. Materials go hand in hand with the safety of the users. You have to ensure that the materials are slip-free. This will give the users a better grip on the handrails in case they trip or slip. Bear in mind that function comes first before design. Choose the material that will not compromise the safety of the users.
Most people prefer steel-plated material for the handrails because of its sleek design. The material composition should have the ability to increase the grip of handrails such as wood finish. Wood finish comes in different colors and finishes. It has a rougher surface in comparison to steel-plated handrails. You can also carve it in a design that is suitable for your hand to hold. This is best if your household has an elderly involved. You can also install bar support as they ascend the stairs.
3. Make it Visible
The handrails of the stairs should be visible at all times of the day. You have to ensure that it can easily be seen even at night to prevent stair-related injuries. A helpful tip for keeping it visible is to illuminate it with LED strip lights. You don’t necessarily have to install it in the handrails. You can install it within the wall surface with the light directly illuminating the handrails. Some also use recessed pin uplights to have a better view of the railings.
Bear in mind that our senses are not that fully-functional when the room is dark. As much as possible, find ways on keeping the handrails and the stairs visible. It may add to your costs but in the long run, it will save you the expenses when you’re sent to the hospital. Falling off the stairs can lead to physical challenges. It would be best to prevent these accidents from happening by keeping it visible at all times of the day.
4. Avoid Installing Wirings
Avoid installing electrical wirings along the stairs. Keep it off anything that may cause the household to trip or slip. Remember keeping the steps and the handrails free from objects as much as possible. If your household consists of the elderly or physically-challenged people, ensure that the stairs are free from distraction every time they use it. Make sure that wirings are nowhere near the steps or the handrails. As much as possible, keep them installed within the wall surface. It will make it look organized too.
5. Practice Proper Spacing and Design for Balusters
Balusters are the railings within the handrails. Common accidents involving balusters are kids sliding their heads in and out of the railings. It would be best to keep the railing 4 to 6 inches apart to avoid this kind of circumstances. Kids these days tend to be adventurous. They are trying everything they are curious about. These spacing between railings will prevent circumstances of their heads getting stuck in between. Baluster designs should have the ability to enhance the grip in case of a fall.
6. Maintain Handrail Condition
One of the reasons why the household doesn’t use the handrails is because of its poor condition. It may be dirty, loose, or broken and needs repair. Handrails good condition should be maintained at all time. This will help the household in considering the use of handrails at all times. Loose handrails will only worsen when stair-related injuries happen. It would be best to have it fixed or replaced right away for the household to use.
The handrails of your stairs are responsible for providing support as you ascend to the succeeding floors. It is an important aspect of stair design and planning because most accidents are prevented with efficient use of handrails. It would be best to keep these tips in mind to avoid stair-related injuries for your household. Always take into consideration the users on how you will plan the stairs. Their safety should remain your number one priority.
About The Author:
Chris Young is a loving husband and has two beautiful daughters. During his free time, he writes articles and mainly focuses on how families can spend more time together and make wonderful memories. He is a former grade school teacher and adores children. He aims to share what he has learned both in school and at home and does it through writing. He also aims to inspire families to always find the time to bond and that there’s really no place like home. For more information, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.