Three Things You Cannot Do With a Public Staircase, Ever

Designing a staircase for your new office building or public space? It is important to remember these 3 things you cannot do.

Building regulations are a vital consideration when designing, manufacturing, and installing a staircase. The staircase and building must adhere to the latest building and safety regulations or be at risk of expensive charges and changes further down the line.  With such pressure to get it right, it can be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, the design process with Pear Stairs is straightforward and simplified, a team of trained designers are on hand to ensure your design meets the necessary requirements.

A vital part of staircase regulations is understanding the difference between private, public, and general access properties. Each of these has slightly different regulations. Private staircase regulations are the most lenient as they are meant for domestic homes. Public staircases are staircases that provide important access somewhere (e.g. fire escapes) and are accessible by the public, while general access staircases are the ones used regularly in a semi-public building like and office block. With that in mind, there are three major design features that are simply not permitted with public and semi-public staircases.

  1. No Open Risers.

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    Open risers are a popular design trend thanks to how they allow light to flow through the staircase, avoiding the creation of large, shadowed areas. Unfortunately, they can also be something of a safety hazard for people with small feet or a walking aid. For that reason they are only permitted in private properties and even then cannot have an opening of 100mm or larger.

  2. No Nosing.

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    The nosing on a staircase can pose a trip hazard, so staircases intended for use by the public cannot have them. The treads of the staircase must also be level, this is why public staircases look like a series of right angles, the treads and risers are required to be flush.

  3. No Paddle Stairs/Space Saver Stairs/Steep Stairs.

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    The maximum pitch of Utility stairs is 33° and the maximum pitch of general access stairs is 38°. These restrictions mean that space saver stairs are strictly prohibited for public use. Even in a domestic property, space saver stairs should only be used to access one limited space, such as an attic, where there is no room for a full staircase.

For more on staircase building regulations, check out our guide to staircase regulations here, or call the Pear Stairs design team on 01938 553311. To start designing your own staircase, why not have a go with the free online Staircreator tool that will render a full 3D model of your design.