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.
Over the past several years, much has been done to address deck and stair safety issues, but we still have a long way to go. One glaring example of the failure in deck and stair safety protocol is the industry standard of permitting "hot dipped galvanized" anchors, screws, hangers and other hardware to be in direct contact with ACQ, pressure treated wood. The galvanic corrosion created between the high copper content of the wood and the galvanizing is so severe that the normal industry standard of G90 galvanizing will corrode in as little as 12 months and G185, such as Z-Max® can be gone in 24 months. The industry (including code officials) has adopted G185 as a fall back position with no engineering testing available to substantiate the validity or longevity of this adoption...this is a "knee jerk" reaction and is an accident waiting to happen. Without a barrier between the pressure treated wood and galvanized hardware, serious corrosion is inevitable.
In a recent article published in The Los Angeles Times, July 6th of this year, a tragic deck collapse resulting in serious injury and death, is reported. The deck was part of a three story apartment complex in a Birmingham suburb. Seven party-goers is all it took to create this tragic event. Unfortunately, this is an all to common occurrence now days. Reports are continually surfacing, confirming the growing frequency of these serious, life threatening collapses.
How does it work? The adjustable stair brackets are positioned on two 2x6’s -using a reusable spacing tool. The spacer is set using a chart which will give the exact setting for the rise and tread required for your project. Two screws are set in each bracket, attaching to the two 2x6’s. This forms a fully adjustable stringer which is then adjusted exactly to your stair requirements. Fixing screws are then inserted to lock the brackets in position. Two to three cuts total, top and bottom completes the stringer. Compared this to the dozens of cuts required for traditional construction. With this system, stairs can be built up to nine feet wide, using only the two outside stringers....no interior stringers required.
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