Rotted handrail, bad handrail, no handrail.

Rotted handrail, bad handrail, no handrail.

Handrail Safety

What do the 3 photos above have in common?

Stairs? Handrails? Bad handrails? No Handrails?

A little of each… there’s no handrail on this long run of stairs to a basement.

There are the front steps with the ladder-type of handrail with a 2×4 on top. And then there’s another short run with an old, worn 2×4 up top.

Safety is the main concern with all of them. There’s no doubt that all of these stairs need handrails and they have to be graspable handrails! The 2×4 doesn’t qualify as a “graspable” handrail.

  • Railing grip size and shape: (must be able to be grasped)
  • Round rails: between 1.25″ and 2″ in diameter
  • Metal ogee shaped: <= 2.25″ across widest dimension
  • Wood oblate shaped: <= 2.25″ across widest dimension
  • Rectangular shaped: perimeter must be between 4″ and 6.25″ and have a recessed finger area

2x handrail profiles - CA CBC - DF 2x handrail profiles - CA CBC - DF Handrail profile non circular

Please don’t mess around it comes to handrail safety,  because someone could get hurt! You should want to provide guests who travel throughout your home a safe means to do so, especially when it comes to elderly or small children. It’s important that they have something to grab onto when going up and down those stairs, whether that’s up to the front door or out the back deck for a barbeque!

Avoid Injuries

Take the proper precautions because if someone gets injured on your pr0perty that could be a liability. We all know how sue-happy society has gotten these days, so take a few extra minutes to survey your property and if a safety device, such as a handrail, is missing or inadequate, either put something in place yourself or hire someone to do it for you! If you’re unsure about something, a google search could help or why not call a professional and ask the question?  To reach a professional home inspector, call 757-797-4240 or send me a message: or on Facebook.

2 replies
  1. Angela Waterford
    Angela Waterford says:

    My sister told me that my children will be safer when they grow up if I install some kind of security on the stairs as early as now. Thanks for saying that my stairs need graspable handrails because this will be good for their safety. I think I’ll choose some round ones if I can hire someone to install them so that I can be sure that they’re done correctly.

    • premierinspects
      premierinspects says:

      Hi Angela! Thanks for the comment and I’m happy you found the information useful. It’s a good idea to add the handrails, especially for young children who transit up and down the stairs!


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