Are Open Stairs Suitable For Small Children?
This is a question Bisca get asked on a regular basis. The simple answer is that a staircase designed and built to UK regulations is deemed to be safe.
UK regulations state no part of a staircase or balustrade must have gaps of more than 100mm. A sphere of 100mm diameter must not be able to pass through any gap. This includes spacing of balustrade uprights and gaps between treads. In addition, treads must have an overhang no less than 16mm. This overhang makes it harder for objects to pass through. Bisca recommend increasing this overhang for an added feeling of security and comfort.
An open staircase that conforms to Building Regulations is safe for small children and for added peace of mind, here a few options to consider as part of the design:
Increase the overhang - the majority of Bisca staircase designs feature an increased overhang.
Install a baby-gate or dog-gate - Bisca can incorporate a gate as part of the staircase design, which can be removed without trace when no longer needed.
Fit riser bars to treads - as part of the design, Bisca can design temporary riser bars to fix to the treads. These can be timber, steel or Perspex, and be removed completely when toddlers become teenagers!
It is common to see images in UK publications of staircases that do not conform to UK building regs. For example, stairs without balustrades or balustrades of an open design/vertical wires. UK building regs are more stringent than those in force in mainland Europe. Staircases by manufacturers in this region may not conform to UK standards.
The majority of imported modular or kit staircases need some modification to get signed off by a building inspector.