How to Design Safe Stairs for Your Building

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Anytime you’re designing or updating a building, safety should be your top priority. This is true for residential, commercial, and public buildings alike. Regardless of what type of structure it is, almost every building includes at least one set of stairs. Look out for people’s well-being by learning how to design safe stairs for your building.

Pay Attention To Building Codes

Before designing a set of stairs, always check the building codes for any specifications that the stairs must fulfill. These codes may differ based on the location or the category into which your building falls. For instance, residential home building codes will likely be different from those that regulate schools. Despite their differences, all codes are in place to keep constructions safe and tell you what is or isn’t acceptable in your design.

Choose the Proper Slope

One way to keep stairs safe is to design them with proper slopes. Staircases that are too steep can be difficult to use and hazardous. Design your stairs with a gentle rise rather than a steep one, and pay special attention to the height of each step’s rise and the length of their runs. Rises should be low enough that people can easily step from one stair to the next, and runs should be long enough that the entire foot can fit on each step.

Add a Set of Railings

Railings along staircases are essential parts that prevent falls. Plan to add a set of railings, or even two, to your staircase. To get the right fit for your specific design, measure your stairs for railings before purchasing a new set. When installing the railings, take care to position them at a height where people can naturally hold onto them while using the stairs.

Illuminate the Staircase

Whether your staircase is outdoors or indoors, it’s not a bad idea to add some illumination to it. In a residential home where people commonly use stairs at night, place at least a small light next to the stairs to reduce the chance of tripping in the dark. Although people don’t remain in many non-residential buildings at night, it may still be beneficial to add some additional lighting on or near the stairs, especially if the staircase is outdoors.

Avoid accidental injury from the start by knowing how to design safe stairs for your building. But remember, safe stairs don’t have to equal boring stairs! You have the freedom to create a staircase that is just as beautiful as it is safe.

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