Is there is a better way? Advances over the past several years has seen the introduction of many new stair technologies. One system that stands out is engineered, self-adjusting, stair brackets. This system makes stair construction easier, stronger and faster. Basic skill level requirements are all that is needed to build a perfect stair the first time. However, should you make a mistake, the brackets can be readjusted to reform the stair, eliminating the normal loss of stringers that is all too common in traditional stair construction.
The Summit Stair Lift: This is a low cost home stair lift. The company only makes straight stair lifts. The Summit chair lift is made to be a no-frills but reliable handicap stair lift. It uses technology that is now considered old-fashioned by most leading stair lift manufacturers; it uses a cable system rather than rack and pinion to drag the chair along the track, and the Summit stair lift is mains powered rather than battery powered. Other manufacturers switched to rack and pinion battery powered stair lifts because they give a smoother ride. You do get basic safety systems with the Summit stair lift such as a sensor on the footrest to detect obstacles, a seat belt and cable tensioning. Won’t you won’t get the more sophisticated safety features offered by other manufacturers. All in all, the Summit stair lift is for those on a small budget.
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.
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.
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