Handrails are railings used on stairways and escalators. [cite web|url=http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/handrail|title=Dictionary.com|accessdate=2007-06-26] They are designed to be grasped by the hand while ascending or descending the stairs. They are supported by posts or fixed directly to a wall.

Handrail dimensions

Various model codes -- The International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-- and accessibility standards -- ANSI A117.1 and the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) -- refer to handrail dimensions. Latest versions of these codes and standards now agree that handrail is defined as either a circular cross section with an outside diameter of 1-1/4" (32 mm) minimum and 2" (51 mm) maximum or a non-circular cross section with a perimeter dimension of 4" (100 mm) minimum and 6-1/4" (160 mm) maximum and a cross section dimension of 2-1/4" (57 mm) maximum. In addition, the International Residential Code (IRC) includes a definition of a "Type II" handrail that allows for handrail with a perimeter dimension greater than 6-1/4" (160 mm)if a graspable finger recess area is provided on both sides of the profile. [http://www.stairways.org/pdf/code_changes/What%20is%20a%20type%20II%20handrail.pdf]

Handrails are located at a height between 34" (864 mm) and 38" (965 mm) In areas where children are the principal users of a building or facility, the 2004 ADAAG recommends that a second set of handrails at a maximum height of 28" (711 mm) measured to the top of the gripping surface from the ramp surface or stair nosing can assist in preventing accidents.

Handrail clearance

The distance between the wall and handrail gripping surface is also governed by local code with the most common requirement being 1-1/2" (38 mm) minimum. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requires that the distance between the wall and handrail be a minimum of 2-1/4" (57 mm).


External links

* [http://www.virginiarailingandgates.com/calculations.asp Handrail Baluster/Picket Space Calculator]
* [http://www.wagnercompanies.com/site/Viewer.aspx?iid=1534&mname=Article&rpid=588#handrail Summary of Railing Regulations]
* [http://www.aluminum-rails.com/ Commercial Aluminum & Stainless Handrail Designs]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • handrail — hand rail n. a rail[1] at the side of staircase or balcony to prevent people from falling; shaped so as to be conveniently gripped with the hand; as, please hold onto the handrail when crossing the walkway. Syn: bannister, banister, balustrade,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • handrail — [hand′rāl΄] n. a rail serving as a guard or support to be held by the hand, as along a staircase or ramp …   English World dictionary

  • Handrail — Lipslide am Handrail Der englische Begriff Handrail (im Deutschen: Handlauf) wird im Deutschen von Skateboardern und Aggressive Skatern im Streetskating verwendet. Sie sliden und Grinden am Rail (Stange) und überwinden so eine Treppe. Dabei wird… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • handrail — n. 1) to grasp a handrail 2) to hold on to a handrail * * * [ hændreɪl] to grasp a handrail to hold on to a handrail …   Combinatory dictionary

  • handrail — UK [ˈhændˌreɪl] / US noun [countable] Word forms handrail : singular handrail plural handrails a long bar that you can hold on to for support, for example at the side of stairs …   English dictionary

  • handrail — [[t]hæ̱ndreɪl[/t]] handrails N COUNT A handrail is a long piece of metal or wood which is fixed near stairs or places where people could slip and fall, and which people can hold on to for support …   English dictionary

  • handrail — noun Date: 1725 a narrow rail for grasping with the hand as a support …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • handrail — /hand rayl /, n. a rail serving as a support or guard at the side of a stairway, platform, etc. [1785 95; HAND + RAIL1] * * * …   Universalium

  • handrail — noun A rail which can be held, such as on the side of a staircase, ramp or other walkway, and serving as a support or guard …   Wiktionary

  • Handrail — Поручень; Ограждение …   Краткий толковый словарь по полиграфии

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