Handrails – Florida Building Code 5th Edition (2014)


SECTION 1012 HANDRAILS

(Located in Florida Building Code Chapter 10 – Means of Egress)

 
1012.1 Where required.
Handrails for stairways and ramps shall be adequate in strength and attachment in accordance with Section 1607.8. Handrails required for stairways by Section 1009.15 shall comply with Sections 1012.2 through 1012.9.Handrails required for ramps by Section 1010.9 shall comply with Sections 1012.2 through 1012.8.

1012.2 Height.

Handrail height, measured above stair tread nosings, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be uniform, not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm). Handrail height of alternating tread devicesand ship ladders, measured above tread nosings, shall be uniform, not less than 30 inches (762 mm) and not more than 34 inches (864 mm).

Exceptions:

1. When handrail fittings or bendings are used to provide continuous transition between flights, the fittings or bendings shall be permitted to exceed the maximum height.

2. In Group R-3 occupancies; within dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies; and in Group U occupancies that are associated with a Group R-3 occupancy or associated with individual dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies; when handrail fittings or bendings are used to provide continuous transition between flights, transition at winder treads,transition from handrail to guard, or when used at the start of a flight, the handrailheight at the fittings or bendings shall be permitted to exceed the maximum height.

1012.3 Handrail graspability.

All required handrails shall comply with Section 1012.3.1 or shall provide equivalent graspability.

Exceptions:

1. In Group R-3 occupancies; within dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies; and in Group U occupancies that are accessory to a Group R-3 occupancy or accessory to individual dwelling units in Group R-2 occupancies;handrails shall be Type I in accordance with Section 1012.3.1, Type II in accordance with Section 1012.3.2 or shall provide equivalent graspability.

2. Accessible handrails shall meet the requirements of the Florida Building Code, Accessibility.

1012.3.1 Type I.

Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of at least 11/4 inches (32 mm) and not greater than 2 inches (51 mm). Where the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches (102 mm) and not greater than 61/4 inches (160 mm) with a maximum cross-sectional dimension of 21/4inches (57 mm) and minimum cross-sectional dimension of 1 inch (25 mm). Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).

1012.3.2 Type II.

Handrails with a perimeter greater than 61/4 inches (160 mm) shall provide a graspable finger recess area on both sides of the profile. The finger recess shall begin within a distance of 3/4 inch (19 mm) measured vertically from the tallest portion of the profile and achieve a depth of at least 5/16 inch (8 mm) within 7/8 inch (22 mm) below the widest portion of the profile. This required depth shall continue for at least 3/8 inch (10 mm) to a level that is not less than 13/4 inches (45 mm) below the tallest portion of the profile. The minimum width of thehandrail above the recess shall be 11/4 inches (32 mm) to a maximum of 23/4 inches (70 mm). Edges shall have a minimum radius of 0.01 inch (0.25 mm).

1012.4 Continuity.

Handrail gripping surfaces shall be continuous, without interruption by newel posts or other obstructions.

Exceptions:

1. Handrails within dwelling units are permitted to be interrupted by a newel post at a turn or landing.

2. Within a dwelling unit, the use of a volute, turnout, starting easing or starting newel is allowed over the lowest tread.

3. Handrail brackets or balusters attached to the bottom surface of the handrail that do not project horizontally beyond the sides of the handrail within 11/2 inches (38 mm) of the bottom of the handrail shall not be considered obstructions. For each 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) of additional handrail perimeter dimension above 4 inches (102 mm), the vertical clearance dimension of 11/2 inches (38 mm) shall be permitted to be reduced by 1/8 inch (3 mm).

4. Where handrails are provided along walking surfaces with slopes not steeper than 1:20, the bottoms of the handrail gripping surfaces shall be permitted to be obstructed along their entire length where they are integral to crash rails or bumper guards.

1012.5 Fittings.

Handrails shall not rotate within their fittings.

1012.6 Handrail extensions.

Handrails shall return to a wall, guard or the walking surface or shall be continuous to the handrail of an adjacentstair flight or ramp run. Where handrails are not continuous between flights, the handrails shall extend horizontally at least 12 inches (305 mm) beyond the top riser and continue to slope for the depth of one tread beyond the bottom riser. At ramps where handrails are not continuous between runs, the handrails shall extend horizontally above the landing 12 inches (305 mm) minimum beyond the top and bottom of ramp runs. The extensions of handrails shall be in the same direction of the stair flights at stairways and the ramp runs at ramps.

Exceptions:

1. Handrails within a dwelling unit that is not required to be accessible need extend only from the top riser to the bottom riser.

2. Aisle handrails in rooms or spaces used for assembly purposes in accordance with Section 1028.13.

3. Handrails for alternating tread devices and ship ladders are permitted to terminate at a location vertically above the top and bottom risers. Handrails for alternating tread devices and ship ladders are not required to be continuous between flights or to extend beyond the top or bottom risers.

4. Accessible handrail extensions shall be in accordance with the Florida Building Code, Accessibility.

1012.7 Clearance.

Clear space between a handrail and a wall or other surface shall be a minimum of 11/2 inches (38 mm). Ahandrail and a wall or other surface adjacent to the handrail shall be free of any sharp or abrasive elements.

1012.8 Projections.

On ramps, the clear width between handrails shall be 36 inches (914 mm) minimum. Projections into the required width of stairways and ramps at each side shall not exceed 41/2 inches (114 mm) at or below the handrail height. Projections into the required width shall not be limited above the minimum headroom height required in Section 1009.5. Projections due to intermediate handrails shall not constitute a reduction in the egress width.

1012.9 Intermediate handrails.

Stairways shall have intermediate handrails located in such a manner that all portions of the stairway width required for egress capacity are within 30 inches (762 mm) of a handrail. On monumental stairs, handrails shall be located along the most direct path of egress travel.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *