Improving Your Safety With Cable Rails on Your Stairs
When setting up stairways or the guardrails for them, thinking of safety should always be the focus, especially with the number of accidents that happen on them every year. More than one million Americans are injured on stairs every year, according to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. One in three elderly adults will have a serious fall on a stairway this year. Ensure the stairways you are putting together have the proper cable rail fittings.
Having strong cable railing hardware for your stairways is crucial, but it is also imperative to have them for your landing, deck, or patio railings. If you’re thinking about investing in cable railing supplies, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking at cable options.
Keep Everything Up to Code and Safe
When looking at your rigging and cable needs, the safety of the cable rail fittings is the first thing to consider. You are going to want to make sure your railings can carry a heavy load. The number one function of the rigging and cable setup is to prevent falling, so there are things to keep in mind to prevent an accident happening in your area. According to American Cable and Rigging Supply, “when your cable railing hardware is installed, ensure it’s up to code. There are regulations regarding how far apart cables can be and railing heights so double check on those.” These regulations include no opening greater than 19 inches. Also, guardrails are required to be a height of 42 inches, plus or minus three inches, and by 2036, ladder safety systems will be required on all heights of more than 24 feet. It might be best to look into what regulations your situation calls for.
Minimize Stretching and Give
Overall, cables have a lot of capabilities and applications. That means different cables have varying degrees of elasticity. For your railings, it is best to choose a material that has the least amount of stretching or give. When keeping people from falling, you want to ensure that should someone lose their balance, they will not fall through the railing. A tough, sturdy railing will keep everyone safe and sound.
Use a Proper Grab Rail
You may have safe, sturdy cable rails on your stairs that will help prevent people from falling off the stairway, but what about if someone loses balance and falls down the stairs? This is where a grab rail comes in handy. Generally, grab rails are supposed to be between 34 and 38 inches above the lip of each stair below it. Setting the proper height of the grab rail on top of the cable rail fittings will help give people walking up and down them better comfort.
The diameter of the rail itself should be between one and a quarter inch to two inches around to be easily graspable for most hands. Also, when putting in the railing, you want to make sure there is at least more than an inch between it and any wall to allow for the person to be able to completely wrap their hand around the grab rail. Also, if the stairway turns, be sure not to leave a pinch point against the wall or an ending that can easily catch loose clothing or other items.
Keep It Aesthetically Pleasing
At the end of the day, the railing is going to be used primarily by people who are in the area often. If this is your property, be sure to coat and paint the railing with different colors that you like. Also, be sure to look into methods of preventing rust or tear and wear from the everyday use of hands moving along the railing.