New Simple Solution for Stair Rail Safety: 15 Facts

ICC-ESR # 2295 – Released January 2012

1. Code requires all railing to hold 200 lb lateral load.

2. This also applies to stair railing but in the past has not been enforced, since it was not possible to obtain code compliant loads. New EZ Stairs® technology has now made code compliancy possible. 

3. Residential code requires 200 lb at 36" above the nose of the tread.

4. Commercial code requires 200 lb at 42" above the nose of the tread.

5. The new EZ Stairs® R/P Support bracket is the first and only ICC/ES tested and accepted bracket which meets code requirements for both residential and commercial wood stairs. ICC-ES Acceptance # ESR 2295 (January 2012)

6. The EZ Stairs® bracket is designed to work equally well for all common stair types - cut stringers, stair angles, EZ Stairs® stacked stringers and housed or notched stringer types.

7. EZ Stairs® brackets have been tested to exceed the 200 lb load requirements by a safety factor of 250%. This is equivalent to a lateral load of 500 lbs. at 42" (commercial).

8. The EZ Stairs® brackets when tested at extreme measures, were subjected to a load in excess of 5,000 lbs.

9. The strength of the EZ Stairs® bracket connection lies in the firm anchoring of the bracket flanges to the tread and blocking (at back of tread) or rise (at front of tread) – go to for more information.

10. EZ Stairs® introduces a simple and economical solution which meets all code requirements for both new construction and structural retrofits for existing rail posts.

11. The National Safety Council (2011 Safety Statistics) reports that slips and falls are the leading cause of death for persons over age 65. The majority of these lethal injuries are falls from one level to another which includes fatalities and serious injuries on stairs.

12. These documented statistics establish stairs as the most dangerous area of any deck, well in excess of the more widely and publicly discussed events such as deck collapse which claim relatively few lives when compared to the fatalities resulting from slips and falls on stairs.

13. When anyone travels up or down a stair, proper safety precautions require a firm grip of the hand rail. If the rail is not properly secured and movement occurs, the ability to maintain a safe grip is compromised.

14. Maintaining a safe, firm grip on stair railing, can reduce with age, therefore, it is essential to maintain rail post code requirements for rail stability. Failure to comply with set code requirements will increase builders & contractors potential risk of liability.

15. It's just a matter of time, as the construction industry is continually made more aware of real areas of liability, that contractors will start to be exposed and vulnerable to litigation for failing to meet specific documented code requirements… specifically in the stair construction arena of lateral load stair rail safety.


Open Rail Post Attachment

Closed Rail Post Attachment