With the dark nights on the horizon and the colder nights drawing in, more people will be spending more time indoors than out.
With this in mind, Richard Burbidge is urging merchants to promote safe stair and balustrade practices in accordance with the Part K Building Regulations. The government guidelines are in relation to protection against falling, collision and impact on flights of stairs and landings.
The onset of the darker nights places merchants in a prime position to offer advice to customers on stair safety, educating them on what homeowners need to watch out for, as well as offering secure solutions. This will not only ensure the safety of homeowners, but also help to increase sales in this sector.
According to research, 500,000* children under the age of four are injured in the home every year, of which 35,000* fall down the stairs. By having horizontal, panelled stair balustrades or ‘ranch style’ stairs in their home, homeowners are endangering their children as they can easily climb, or get their head trapped between the panels. The ‘ranch style’ in particular was outlawed in the 1985 Building Regulations, however, it is still present in some older homes.
Installers are in the ideal position to educate homeowners about the risks associated with staircases that don’t meet the new building regulations. While carrying out existing work installers can encourage homeowners to invest in secure balustrades, especially if they have young children or elderly relatives, thus placing merchants in the good position to benefit.
The revised Part K of the Building Regulations states that guarding, such as balustrades, must be fitted on flights of stairs and landings with a drop of 60mm or more in residential dwellings.
*DTI, CAPTS, Rospa, HASS
Paul Lerigo is marketing director at Richard Burbidge.