Most staircases have a handrail or banister on one side although this may not extend the full length of the staircase. Most DIY stores sell handrails which can be used to extend the existing handrail all the way up the staircase if required.
Adding a second handrail to the other side of the staircase may be helpful. The additional rail should be fitted at a height that matches the existing rail and extend an additional length of 300mm at beginning and end of the staircase.
As rails and rail fittings are so widely available this site only lists stair rails with features which make them safer or easier to use.
Check that the proposed rail is comfortable to hold and there is sufficient room between the rail and the wall to allow the person to secure a strong handgrip. It is recommended that there should be a space of about 4-6.5 cm between the wall and the rail.
Ensure that the rail is comfortable to hold especially if the user has weak or painful hands. It is recommended that the rail should have a diameter of between 4-4.5 cm.
As a general rule mop stick rails with angled brackets are easy to grip and should extend about 300 mm beyond the top and bottom step. For more advice on stair rails
Coloured rails that contrast with the wall colour can be useful for people who have a visual impairment.
Rails are only as strong as the wall to which they are fixed and the fixings that are used. Many modern properties have internal walls that do not provide suitable anchorage for rails. These walls may need adapting so that a rail can be fitted.
If you need help installing stair rails you could search for local competent traders, such as carpenters and handymen, who meet relevant standards at trustatrader.com
In many areas age concern run a handyman scheme. For a small charge, and if you are over 60, this scheme may be able to assist with small jobs such as fitting hand rails, spy holes in your door, replacing tap washers, and fitting smoke alarms or telephone extensions. To find your local age UK service click here.
For more of our information on fitting stair and grab rails
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