Q:

What are the code requirements for stair railings and handrails in Contra Costa County?

A:

Quick Answer

Stair railings and handrails in Contra Costa County are required to meet the specifications set forth in the most recent version of the California Building Code, according to Title 7 of the Contra Costa County Municipal Code. Residential requirements for handrails are found in Section 1003.3.3.6 of the California Building Code, notes Inspectapedia.

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Full Answer

Generally, stairways with four or more risers, or steps, are required to have handrails on one or both sides depending on the type of building, reports Inspectapedia. Stairways that serve an individual dwelling unit are required only to have a handrail on one side.

The California Building Code specifies that the ends of handrails have rounded terminations or bends, notes Inspectapedia. The surface of the handrails' handgrip portion must be smooth and have no sharp corners. The handgrip must be between 1 1/4 and 2 inches across or provide a gripping surface that is equivalent. There must be at least 1 1/2 inches between the wall and handrail when the handrails project from an adjacent wall.

Places of employment in California must follow the minimum occupational safety and health standards that are found in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, as noted by the Department of Industrial Regulations. Specifically, standard specifications for stair rails and handrails are found in Subchapter 7, Group 1, Article 2, Section 3214.

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