How Home Inspectors Help with Stairway Safety
July 10, 2019 |
Research shows that more than 1 million Americans injure themselves on stairways every single year, and more accidents happen on stairs than anywhere else in the home. This is why it’s crucial that you check stair safety when you inspect a property. Here are six ways to do it:
1. Check Lighting
Poorly-lit stairs can pose a significant safety hazard. As a home inspector, make sure stairways are properly illuminated in order to reduce accidents. If not, note this down on your home inspection report.
2. Check Railings
People can fall down stairs if railings aren’t connected properly to the walls. Check railings have been attached properly to wall surfaces and provide adequate support. Remember, wobbly railings are seriously dangerous.
3. Check Floor Surfaces
Slippery floor surfaces can cause someone to trip down the stairs. If a stairway is wet, note this down on your home inspection report. Smooth, wooden stairs, in particular, can be extremely slippery. Anti-slip floor treads or a couple of coats of floor finish can provide a solution to this problem.
4. Check Treads and Risers
If the treads and risers on stairways are too narrow, people can lose their footing and fall down the stairs. To prevent accidents from happening, treads should be a minimum of 11 inches deep, and risers should be a maximum of 7 inches, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors.
5. Check for “Surprise” Steps
Some steps, especially those at the bottom of a stairway, might not be visible to someone coming down the stairs. This can increase the chances of an accident. Steep steps can also result in injuries.
6. Check Spindles
Spindles are the supporting posts that ensure people don’t fall through the gaps in stairs. Make sure spindles have been spaced correctly in order to prevent an accident.
“Each spindle should be no more than 100mm away from the next spindle in both direction,” says Rated People.
As a home inspector, it’s your job to ensure that stairways are safe for homeowners and business owners. Check lights, railings, floor surfaces, treads and risers, surprise steps, and spindles when inspecting a home.