52. HANDRAILS. Section R311.7.6 IRC 2009
R311.7.6 Handrails. Handrails shall be provided on at least one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four or more risers.
R318.104.22.168 Height. Handrail height, measured vertically from the sloped plane adjoining the tread nosing, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be not less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches.
1. The use of a volute, turnout or starting easing shall be allowed over the lowest tread.
2. When handrail fittings or bendings are used to provide continuous transition between flights, the transition from handrail to guardrail, or used at the start of a flight, the handrail height at the fittings or bendings shall be permitted to exceed the maximum height.
R322.214.171.124 Continuity. Handrails for stairways shall be continuous for the full length of the flight, from a point directly above the top riser of the flight to a point directly above lowest riser of the flight. Handrail ends shall be returned or shall terminate in newel posts or safety terminals. Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 1 1/2 inch between the wall and the handrails.
1. Handrails shall be permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at the turn.
2. The use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel shall be allowed over the lowest tread.
R3126.96.36.199 Handrail grip size. All required handrails shall be of one of the following types or provide equivalent graspability.
1. Type I. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of at least 1 1/4 inches and not greater than 2 inches. If the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches and not greater than 6 1/4 inches with a maximum
cross section of dimension of 2 1/4 inches. Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch
2. Type II. Handrails with a perimeter greater than 6 1/4 inches shall provide a graspable finger recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger recess shall begin within a distance of ¾ inch measured vertically from the tallest portion of the profile and achieve a depth of at least
5/16 inch within 7/8 inch below the widest portion of the profile. This required depth shall continue for at least 3/8 inch to a level that is not less than 1 3/4 inches below the tallest portion of the profile. The minimum width of the handrail above the recess shall be 1 ¼
inches to a maximum of 2 3/4 inches. Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inches.
53. GUARDRAILS. Section R312 IRC 2009
R312.1 Guards required. Guards shall be located along open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramps and landings, that are located more than 30 inches measured vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36 inches horizontally to the edge of the open side. Insect screening shall not be considered as a guard.
R312.2 Height. Required guards at open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, porches, balconies or landings, shall be not less than 36 inches high measured vertically above the adjacent walking surface, adjacent fixed seating or the line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
1. Guards on the open sides of stairs shall have a height not less than 34 inches measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
2. Where the top of the guard also serves as a handrail on the open sides of stairs, the top of the guard shall not be not less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches measured vertically from a line connecting the leading edges of the treads.
R312.3 Guard opening limitations. Required guards shall not have openings from the walking surface to the required guard height which allow passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter.
1. The triangular openings at the open side of a stair, formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of a guard, shall not allow passage of a sphere 6 inches in diameter.
2. Guards on the open sides of stairs shall not have openings which allow passage of a sphere
4 3/8 inches in diameter.
54. SPIRAL STAIRWAYS. Section R3188.8.131.52 IRC 2009
Spiral stairways are permitted, provided the minimum clear width at and below the handrail shall be 26 inches with each tread having a 7 1/2 inch minimum tread depth at 12 inches from the narrower edge. All treads shall be identical, and the rise shall be no more than 91/2 inches. A minimum headroom of 6 feet 6 inches shall be provided.
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