Stair Handrails: A Preventative Checklist

Standards for stair handrails often are overlooked when it comes to proper installation and functionality.  There are many safety guidelines to follow when ordering and installing stair handrails.  See below for a checklist that can help eliminate improper installation of stair handrails.

  • Does the stairwell have more than four (4) stair risers?
    • If not, stair handrails are not required
    • If yes, stair handrails are required
  • Is slip resistance critical for the stair handrails, meaning are the stairways exposed to slippery additives creating a slick walking surface?
    • If no, any typical stair handrail will work
    • If yes, stair handrails can be provided with a slip resistant feature that will provide grip in any situation
  • Does the stairway require a fixed stair handrail on both sides of stairway?  (see for further explanation)
  • Does your installed stair handrail meet the minimum height restrictions?
    • Are they mounted between 30” – 34” from the leading edge of the tread?
  • Do the stair handrails meet the 3” clearance required for spacing between the walls or surface they are attached to?
  • Do you choose the correct stair handrail for the stairway application?
    • Are the stairs located in an interior or exterior application?
      • Evaluate which options are available for each application
    • Is corrosion resistance required?
      • If no, any stair handrail will suffice
      • If yes, stair handrails should be composed of a corrosion resistant material such as galvanized steel or aluminum to ensure longevity and durability.
    • Is sanitation and chemical resistance required?
      • If no, any stair handrails will be suitable
      • If yes,  stainless steel handrails will provide all qualities required
  • Do you have questions about proper safety stair handrails?  Contact a safety professional who can help determine the best solution for your application.

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