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What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

When you have an older building (say 1940's) with stairwells that have handrails that dont meet geometry requirements of today's new construction code, what triggers the need for the handrails to be upgraded?

Where the IEBC code applies, I think its only when you have a level 2 or 3 alteration to the building and the stairwell is included in the designated work zone? Can anyone who's familiar with this confirm?

Therefore, if no significant alteration has been done to the stairwell since the 40's, you could technically have a handrail that might be "dangerous" in the eyes of current new construction code, but still meets the IEBC?

RE: What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

Essentially, yes. Only Level 2 and 3 alterations that involve your limits of construction would require the hand rails to be upgraded to the adopted building code. The building official does have the authority to declare it a distinct hazard but even then, you would only need to bring the repair back into compliance with the building code in effect at the time of construction.

RE: What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

Do you mean if a code official walks through (no alterations being done) and he sees an issue, then he can have it meet the code when it was constructed (the old code)? Problem is, I think those old codes are mute on a lot of details.

RE: What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

Yes they are. This is why I believe it's reasonably prudent to keep the code official and customer appraised of any hazards you believe warrant some maintenance. However, it's a rarity with most the code officials I work with. But it has happened.

RE: What triggers stairwell handrail upgrades?

I don't know that it has been tested, but one could argue that a stair that does not meet NFPA 101 requirements as of January 26, 1992 would constitute a barrier under the ADA, and thus would require bringing to that standard at that time.

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