Other codes address "rail post support" safety. A rail post per code regulations is required to support a lateral load of 200 lbs. This is a poorly enforced area of the code and with many inspectors content with the bump test. If it doesn’t move too much when they bump it with their hip, the rail will pass inspection. Many rail posts are simply lagged or nailed to the rim joists and post which are mounted directly to the deck surface will simply not meet code. The tragedy is, there are systems available on the market that correctly address this problem. Simpson, USP and Deck-Loc have brackets which will meet code for rim joist attachment but there’s only one adjustable bracket system (discussed below) which will meet code for wood or composite stairs.
How is this possible with only two stringers? The adjustable brackets are ICC/ES tested and approved as joist hangers. The risers are made structural (2x8’s), attaching to the brackets and spanning across the stair like load bearing joists. This structurally superior system has been tested with breaking strains in excess of 1,200 lbs. per sq. ft. Once the risers and treads are attached, your stair is complete. The result will be a stair that is accurate, extremely strong and "you built that stair".
Take for example the new NADRA (North American Deck and Railing Association) study that examined the number of injuries caused by outdoor deck stairs and porches from 2003 to 2007. The report confirms that deck and stair injuries are on the increase. NADRA points to a 2003 study showing a total of 37,760 injuries which required a visit to the hospital. Of these injuries, 6,120 were a result of structural failure or collapse. Further, the report shows that by 2007, the incidents of serious injury had risen to 55,160. Quoting from the report- "Nearly 15% of all injuries are a result of structural failure". Wood decks are constantly exposed to the elements and they have a limited life span of 10-15 years. As you can see, important to have your deck and deck stairs inspected so that signs of wood decay and deterioration can be repaired.
It is not always easy for people who are older and those that suffer from mobility related diseases to climb the stairs. Often the stairs are something that is avoided for these people, and for good reason. A fall down the stairs is the leading cause of hospitalization and accidental death among those who are over the age of sixty-five, so it is no wonder that many are wary around the stairs. To improve the ability to independently use the stairs and reduce the risk of injury, a stair lift is commonly installed to the stairs. A stair lift is a mobility lifting aid that quite literally carries a person up and down the stairs. A track is secured to the stairs, then a chair, or in some cases, a platform is sent up and down the track carrying a single rider.
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