Hand rails aid family and guests entering your home, navigating outdoor landscape slopes as well as traversing different interior levels of your house. As many options exist regarding the materials and styles of railing you can decide to put in your home as there are uses for home rails. This includes specialized railings that meet the needs of the handicapped.
Have handrails of two heights installed in order to accommodate smaller children as well as taller and aging adults -- or those in a wheelchair -- who are navigating the same set of stairs or hallway. Put handrails in more places than just along your stairs or entrance and exit. For example, add a handrail to your hallways and bathrooms, as these will come in handy if someone who isn't elderly in your home suddenly faces immobility issues himself.
Use simple railings of strong material to prevent toddlers or other small children from going into areas where they could get hurt. Opt for railings that are simplistic in design, as you don't want a child hurt by the railing's ornamentation or a sharp edge on it. Home railings that separate upper-level landings from stairs or floor levels below especially need to be made of sturdy material. Be sure the rail sections are spaced very close together -- about 2 3/8 inches apart -- as gates and enclosures that are farther apart may not prevent a child from putting her head or other body parts in between the slats and getting stuck.
Consider the Handicapped
Handicapped individuals have special needs, and these needs can vary. Some handicapped persons can walk, while others are wheelchair bound. Other handicapped people use a cane or seeing-eye dog in order to get around the home. Consider these factors when putting up hand rails or other railing designs inside your home and on your landscape. Choose rails that allow for a firm grip and limit potential hazards to someone unable to see dangers or complications railings could present.
Let your home rail material, design and locations match your home functionality goals, as well as anticipated guests' and family needs. If railing material chosen includes wood or other materials that outdoor elements or indoor use can cause to deteriorate, check for rotting and damage periodically. You want to ensure the safety of those who use your home railings indoors or outside in your landscape. Moreover, using the correct outdoor deck post anchor can help reduce safety issues.
- Wright State University: Tips to Prevent Falls in the Elderly
- North Carolina State University's College of Design: Wood Ramp Design: How to Add a Ramp That Looks Good and Works Too -- Welcome
- United Nations Enable: Accessibility for the Disabled -- A Design Manual for a Barrier Free Environment
- University of Nebraska Lincoln: Childcare Furnishings Safety Checklist: Childcare Nursery Equipment Safety Checklist -- Gates and Enclosures
- Ideas for Deck Designs: Deck Railing Post Anchors
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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