Sturdy Handrails Are Effective at Preventing Falls at Home
Installing sturdy handrails on stairs, along hallways, and in bathrooms can go a long way toward preventing falls at home. Careful selection and proper installation of the handrail are essential. If the wrong handrail is chosen, or it's poorly installed, it will provide little to no protection against serious injuries.
Choosing Handrails Wisely
It is natural to want to select a handrail that matches the aesthetic and decor of the home. However, it is more important to choose a strong and solid handrail rather than one that matches the drapes. Always remember that solid wood or metal handrails are far superior to plastic or composite options. When choosing your handrail, make sure that the material is rated to withstand a force of at least 200 pounds of pressure applied at any point along the feature.
Hire the Handyman
While you can install a handrail yourself, it is advisable to hire a professional. This will ensure that the handrail is at the proper height and correctly secured to the wall studs or masonry. You will want to set the handrail between 34-38 inches above the stair or floor in most cases. However, you can adjust this based on the person's height for whom the handrail is intended.
As a general rule, you won't need to secure building permits to install handrails in San Antonio. However, the handrails must be installed according to local building codes. If something should happen and the handrail should fail, this helps protect you against lawsuits. It can also protect you against an insurer who denies the claim by citing the deficient handrail as contributing to the injury.
Tighten Things Up Regularly
A loose handrail is a useless handrail and won't protect against slip and fall accidents. It is advisable to regularly check the handrail to ensure that components are tight and that the handrail is firmly attached to the wall. If you discover that screws, nuts, or other components have loosened, tighten them up and monitor them to ensure there isn't a problem with the installation that is causing them to come loose.
Contact Welmaker Injury Law at (210) 828-6033 for more tips to prevent falls at your home in San Antonio. We believe that preventing falls at home is far better than having to pursue compensation afterward.