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Seven building legislations you didn't know the National Building Regulations has for stairs and stairways!

by , 24 April 2015
If your company is involved in the construction of buildings, listen up!

Did you know the National Building Regulations has strict standards that you have to obey? Just for stairs? And if you're found to be non-compliant, you're looking at some hefty fines of up to R100 000!

In fact, there's even a clause about how you must have solid risers where stairs overlap!

Read on for seven legislative requirements you need to obey when it comes to building your stairs and stairways. Requirements you've probably never thought of...

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Seven legislative requirements about stairs

1. There must be sufficient headroom above the stairway
This has to be at least 2.1m and you measure it from the pitch line of the stairway to the ceiling. Just in case you're unsure, the pitch line is the middle part of a single stair.

2. Your stairs must be a certain width to use safely
The National Building Regulations says for the stairs to be wide enough to use safely, they can't be less than 750mm wide.

3. There's a minimum requirement for the depth and width of treads
These have to be a minimum of 250mm. Ideally, the wider the better.

4. If you don't have solid risers, your stairway treads must overlap
If this is the case, the treads must overlap the next tread by at least 25mm. Because without the solid riser, a person's foot could fall through the gap. They would could fall through, or even lose their balance and go tumbling down the stairs!

Read on for three other regulations you hadn't thought of…
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Three other regulations you must follow to stay compliant

5. Your landing area must be a certain length
Landings that sjoin two flights of stairs in a straight line must be at least 900mm long. And just as importantly, as wide as the flight of stairs.

6. You must have some sort of railings in place
If a flight of stairs is more than three risers high, it's a huge safety hazard. Especially if children and old people use it. So if your stairs fit into this category, you need to have some sort of protection to prevent falling. This can be either a secure wall, a screen or railings. The minimum height should be at least 1m high.

7. If you have more than five stairs, you must have a hand rail
If a flight of steps continues for more than five risers, there have to be handrails of some sort. If the stairway is wider than 1.1m, you must have hand rails on both sides.

And these are just a few elements the National Building Regulations mentions. If you want to avoid fines from the DoL, I suggest you pay close attention to all it's regulations, and get a copy of the Construction Compliance Guide.

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