Municipal & Academic Building Stairways
In heavy-traffic areas such as municipal and academic buildings, safety is of the utmost importance. Stairways, walkways, and flooring must provide reliable protection from falls and slips while still maintaining optimal aesthetics. With hundreds of government workers, students, teachers, visitors, and staff passing through these buildings every day, surfaces must also be able to withstand general wear and tear.
In particular, stairways in these buildings must not only be structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing, but also possess reliable slip- and fall-prevention features to reduce the risk of injuries and even potential fatalities.
Slip and Fall Prevention Measures
Implementing high-quality slip- and fall-prevention features on stairways not only provides protection for building visitors, but it also helps reduce the risk of unnecessary expenditures and downtime caused by accidents or extra maintenance.
Most falls on stairs are the result of people losing balance; this is often caused by a lack of handrails, handrails that are unstable and hard to grip, or slippery or uneven stairs. To ensure municipal and academic buildings meet the strict requirements set forth for stairways, proper, high-quality stairway construction is critical. Stairways should adhere to the standard established dimensions ideal for optimal safety; for instance, the maximum range for a stair slope is 20° to 50°, with most stairs featuring a 25° to 30° slope.
The surface of the stairs themselves should also be designed for slip resistance; if this can’t be done, the leading edges should at least have slip-prevention features. Add-on safety features such as nosings and treads can go a long way in ensuring optimal safety without sacrificing aesthetics. Regular maintenance and cleaning, as well as comprehensive employee safety training, will also assist in ensuring risks are kept to a minimum.
Although municipal and academic building interiors often put a premium on aesthetics, sacrificing safety is not an option; easy-to-hold, sturdy handrails should be installed along all stairways to provide support and balance.
Visibility should also be taken into consideration to help avoid accidents caused by misjudged distances. Missing a step, for instance, or tripping can result in sprained knees, twisted ankles, and even broken bones. Maintain good lighting along the stairway, and, if applicable, consider using solid carpeting, as patterns can often disguise differences in depth.
Complying With California Title 24
Taking into account the considerations mentioned above not only helps ensure optimal safety in academic and municipal settings but also allows building owners and managers to meet strict standards, such as California Title 24.
Passed by the California Energy Commission in 2008, Title 24 mandates that all stair nosing and treads must allow for a visual contrast, allowing people with vision impairments to judge depth and distance better.
The strips, which must feature anti-slip properties, are required to be 2 inches wide and must be parallel to the nosings. The tread cannot be placed any farther than 1 inch away from the nosing.
Installing Reliable Stair Nosing and Treads
To easily meet strict standards such as California Title 24 and provide reliable fall and slip protection, municipal and academic building managers should install durable, high-quality nosings and treads. Amstep’s Series #224A safety strips, for instance, meet Title 24 requirements and effectively prevent accidents. Specifically designed with anti-slip properties to reduce the risks of slips and falls, these treads are highly durable and feature a high-friction coefficient.
With a striking visual contrast offered in a wide range of color options, Series #224A treads are available with a continuously extruded anchor or can be drilled and countersunk with holes for anchoring into wood, steel, or stone. Aside from being used in academic and municipal settings, these treads are also often employed in schools, hospitals, and airports.
Finding the Right Product for Your Stairway
To learn more about anti-slip safety stair nosings, browse our product catalog, or reach out to the Amstep team today to discuss your specific needs with an expert.