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What should I know about stair banisters?

Stairs are a necessary part of many buildings and homes to access higher or lower floors, but without the proper safety features, stairs can present real danger. Many Maryland property owners turn to stair banisters as a way to protect pedestrians from taking a nasty spill, and they can be effective, just as long as the banister you install is well built and meets the right safety standards.

Realtor reveals a number of general guidelines that govern how banisters should be built. Your typical banister posts will usually be thirty to thirty-eight inches tall. The height of the overall banister will usually depend on whether one side of the stairs is bordered by a wall. Banisters should also maintain a constant grade, as uneven banisters can prevent people from maintaining a grip as they hold on to the stair railing.

You can expect the building codes of your area to dictate certain details of your stair banisters. Some codes will require banisters to only be placed within a certain length to a nearby wall. Banister positions should also maintain a reasonably wide walking path up and down the stairs. Additionally, banisters have to support a particular weight. Many building codes state that banisters should support around two hundred pounds.

In addition to giving support to people as they climb the stairs, the vertical posts that make up a banister provide a barrier so that people do not fall off the stairs onto a lower floor if no wall or other obstruction is present. However, the posts should be spaced in such a way so that children or pets do not fall through. Building codes will typically require posts to be placed four to five inches apart from each other.

Banisters may not prevent all stair accidents, but their presence may help keep stair climbers from suffering horrible and unnecessary falls and injuries. Since there are many ways people may experience injury on a premises, do not consider this article as legal advice. It is written only to convey educational benefit on premises liability topics.

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