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Do handrails have to return to the wall?

Monday, April 13, 2020

The ends of a handrail have to return to the wall for safety, to avoid getting a handbag or piece of clothing snagged on an open end and causing a fall. Here’s how it is stated in the International Residential Code (IRC):  

     A safety terminal is any type of handrail termination that elimates the possiblity of something getting snagged on it. Here’s an example of a newel post below:

    And here’s two exceptions allowed by the code:

    Also, see our blog posts What is the difference between a handrail and a guardrail? and What is a grippable handrail? and When is a handrail required on both sides of stairs? and How long should a handrail be on stairs? and How many exterior steps require a handrail? 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of some of our blog other posts about STAIRS:

• What is the minimum headroom clearance for stairs?

• Is a landing always required at the top and bottom of stairs? 

• What is the building code for the minimum height of stair steps (risers)? 

• When is a nosing required on a stair tread?

• What is the building code requirement for receptacle outlets at stairs and stair landings?  

• Are open stair risers acceptable?

• What is the steepest residential stair allowed?

• Why is a single step dangerous in a house?

• When is a railing required at stairs?
  Do I need stairs at all exit doors from a mobile home? 

• The stairs feel too steep. What's the building code? 

• What do home inspectors check when inspecting stairs?

• What is the longest stair run allowed? 

• What is the lighting requirement for stairs?

• A light is required over a stair after how many steps/risers? 

• When is safety glass required for windows at stairs and stair landings?

Can a door swing out over the top of interior stairs without a landing?

What are the building code requirements for a handrail at stairs?

• When are solid risers required on stairs? 

What are the standard treads and risers for a regular stairs in a house?

• How many stairs before you need a landing? 

How many lumens are required at stairs in a home?

• What is code for stair risers? 

Do all stair risers have to be the same height?

• Do all stair treads have to be the same size? 

Is a stair nosing required by code?

• What are the minimum dimensions of a stair landing? 

Do stair tread edges have to be rounded?

• How far should stair nosing stick out?  

• Is 45 degrees too steep for a stair?

   Visit our STAIRS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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