Falls constitute the largest percentage of deaths and disabling injuries. How can that be so? Improperly constructed stairways, ramps, landings and porches contribute to fall accidents around the home. How safe is your home? Protect yourself, and visitors who could trip, fall, and file a lawsuit against you.
In Georgia, each county will likely have a building code stating requirements for construction and safety of stairways, ramps, landings and porches in all standard building codes. Failure to follow these would likely result in the construction being hazardous and unreasonably dangerous. Check over these and make sure your home is safe for you—and visitors.
· Stairs: According to the 1994 Standard Building Code, “Treads (depth) and risers (height) should be proportioned so that the sum of two risers and a tread, exclusive of projection of nosing, is not less than 24 inches nor more than 25 inches. The height of the riser shall not exceed 7 3/4 inches and treads, exclusive of nosing, shall be no less than 9 inches wide.”
· Handrails: The 1992 CABO code requires one and two family homes to have handrails for stairways having three or more risers. Handrails are to be located not less than 30 inches nor more than 38 inches above the leading edge of the tread.
· Guardrails: Guardrails are required for balconies, porches, ramps, landings and open sides of stairs, which are more than 30 inches above a finished ground level or floor below. Depending on the structure classification, guardrails shall be a minimum of 36 inches high according to CABO or 42 inches high according to the Standard Building Code.