Many will agree that one of the most accident prone areas of a home or building is the stairs. Statistics will show that a number of accidents occurring on stairs are caused by poor maintenance and sloppy construction. Considering these, it is thus important the stairs be planned out carefully and meticulously to avoid injuries caused by accidents such as slips, trips, and falls from happening in the future.
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.
Attention is now being given to the ability of the vertical post’s strength when hit by various degrees of lateral thrust pressure. These new directives, requiring the vertical rail post to support a minimum of 200 lbs. of lateral thrust, is making engineered stair systems extremely popular, with their ability to withstand over 500 lbs of lateral thrust for the ’rail post support’ structural sections of the overall decking plans.
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.
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