7 Safety Guidelines to Review When Hiring Railing Installation Companies Near Me
Railings are there to keep people safe. Hence, it is only sensible to ensure that the railings installed in homes and business establishments are safe. To be able to do this, the specifications of the railings and all the materials used in building it should be inspected.
Railing installers need to guarantee that the materials they use are made from high quality materials and are built to last. Reliable railing installation companies near me will ensure that the installation methods used are accurate as well. But you might not be able to differentiate a reliable contractor from an unreliable one so it would be best to know more about railing safety. This will allow you to see whether the railing installer you hired is using proper materials and installation methods or not.
Guidelines for Safer Railings
Here are some safety guidelines for railings. Make it a point to ask about them to your chosen railing expert so that you can verify that your railing is safe to use.
- Railings should not be less than 30 inches high.
For railings to effectively protect individuals, it should be at least 30 inches high. This will prevent people from falling over and will keep small children from climbing the railings. Depending on the purpose of the barrier and the place where it is to be installed, it can be made higher.
Stairway railings and handrails are often 30 inches high while railings used in open spaces are around 42 inches in height. Some fences are higher than others because the drop is higher and the area where the railings are installed are often more hazardous. Hence, you need to ensure that the height of the railings to be installed in your home is of the appropriate height.
- Metal railings should be at least 1 ½ inches in diameter.
All metals used in metal railings should be at least 1 ½ inches in diameter. This is to ensure that the metal parts, from the balustrade to the horizontal rail, are strong enough to support the person holding onto it.
Of course, the metals used can be thicker. Depending on the height of the area where the fence is going to be installed, the railing might need to be thicker to guarantee safety. Railings used by elderly people should also have slightly larger diameter, particularly the horizontal handrail, to make it easier for elderly users to hold onto the guardrail.
- Hardwood railing should be at least 2 inches in diameter.
If your installer will use hardwood, make it a point to ask or check if the diameter of the materials is at least 2 inches thick. Since hardwood is softer than metal, it needs to be a bit thicker.
Like metal railings, it is better for the handrail to be thicker. This will allow users to grasp the railing with ease. This will also provide the entire fence with more stability, especially if the ends of the railing are attached to a wall or support post.
- Railings should have a top rail and immediate rail.
To add support to the railing, it should have an immediate rail. Apart from the top rail, which is often used as the handrail, a fence should have a rail running through the entire structure. This is placed in the middle, between the bottom rail and the top rail, to ensure that the balusters are well supported.
This will also guarantee that the balusters will not easily get loose from long-term usage. The stability of the entire fence is also improved with the help of a properly installed immediate rail.
- The posts must have a maximum of 8 feet clearance.
Railings have support posts every few feet to ensure that they won’t wobble. The posts should be at least 8 feet from each other to ensure that the support is not too weak. Of course, the support posts should also be thick enough to fully support the fence as well as the weight of the individuals leaning on it.
This is quite important if the railing is installed on a higher place or a flight of stairs.
- Top railings must have a smooth surface.
Top railings need to have a smooth surface to make it easier for users to hold onto it. Designs are not recommended since it can hinder the purpose of the railing, which is to provide support and protection to people using it.
Though the surface should be smooth, it should not be greasy. This is to prevent users’ hands from accidentally slipping, causing injury. There are also specific materials used on handrails to keep the surface smooth yet slip-proof.
- Rail overhangs should only be allowed if it doesn’t pose hazard.
Rail overhangs are not recommended if it can cause an obstruction. If the design of the fence will not cause the rail ends to obstruct other structures or a pathway, it can be added for aesthetics.
Make it a point to ask your railing installer about handrail maintenance. This way, you won’t accidentally make the horizontal bar slippery when you clean the railings. It is also advisable to ask for a coating that can be applied to the handrail to ensure that it won’t be slippery. Some hardwood coats can make woods shiny and slippery. Ask for one that will only protect hardwood but won’t make it greasy or waxy.
Since you and your family’s safety is concerned, it would be best to check and recheck the quality of materials used in your railing. The specifications of the materials should also be guaranteed so that no accidents will occur.
Doing so will also prevent premature deterioration of your fence. Because the right materials are being used, the durability, integrity and lifespan of your railing will be enhanced. This will save you from a lot of trouble in the future. Thus, it would be best to talk with your chosen railing installer before agreeing to anything and before you let any of the employees start working in your home.