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Ten tips for staircase safety

Friday, June 23, 2017

Any staircase is a potential hazard if not adequately focused on. Here are some tips to make this feature of the house safe and appealing

  1. The first requirement is that these should be well lit from above, and no shadow falls in such a way to confuse the person climbing or descending. The treads should be well lit, and risers can be in shadow.
  2. Make sure that any suspended light fittings do not impede passage up and down. Spotlights provided for high lighting any artwork on the walls are not adequate lighting, ambient lighting should be separately provided.
  3. Any recessed fittings should be readily accessible, instead of having to get a ladder out to reach a high level fitting every time a bulb fuses.
  4. Installing smoke detectors on two levels is absolutely essential to make sure that every member can be alerted to any danger at once. The best place would be at the staircase.
  5. Discourage children from leaving toys and clothing on the staircase, which can pose a hazard to the unwary.
  6. With babies in the house, a safety gate should be fitted at both ends of the staircase to ensure that there are no accidents.
  7. Staircases can be utilised for a lot of decorating options like making a personal gallery space with photos and mementoes, from all the family members.
  8. Painting the treads in one colour and the vertical riser in another can also create a design statement with visual appeal from both above and below. This also increases the safety factor as there is a great difference in the two surfaces.
  9. The handrail should be easy to grasp, and at the correct height. The material used should be easy to maintain and non- slippery.
  10. Loose floor coverings should be avoided here for safety reasons, even on the landings. A fitted carpet can be used but will be difficult to maintain and keep clean.
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