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.
Safety in using stairs should be the main concern when planning the stairs. Its form and design should be rooted on safety. Beauty is useless without proper function. Since a stair’s function is to safely take people to different levels in a multi-level home or building, it should be made in a way that will not compromise those who will be using it. A good way to ensure its safety is to start at the beginning of the installation of the stairs itself. A stair’s foundation lies on the quality of the stair parts used. Therefore, investing in good quality stair parts is a must for ever homeowner and stair builder.
EZ Stairs introduced the new patented adjustable dual-purpose exterior/interior brackets in 2003. In 2004, it won Pro Sales Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for new product innovation in the construction industry. In 2005, it introduced its composite deck compatibility solution and was chosen for LBM Journal’s ’Hot Products’ Award at the 2005 International Builders Show, and again voted one of the fifty ’Hot Products’ at the 2008 International Builders Show.
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