Grippable handrail required ??

The 2012 IRC states that 4 or more risers require a grippable handrail. I consider this as 4 or more, what is your opinion ?

HiddenValley-Trotter 207.JPG

HiddenValley-Trotter 206.JPG

What is the definition of a riser?


Just hand the man a fish why don’t you! :razz:

Is the landing > 30"?

Im talking about steps, not a railing


Write up the no handrail issue as a safety concern.

Recommend a guardrail to prevent a potential walk-off hazard.

I consider that 4 or more. If I were doing the inspection. I would mention this and it would be in my report.

Regardless of it it’s a 30 inch drop or not I see this type of thing as a potential fall hazard and refer to it that way.

If the landing is >30" then a rail must go that high. No?

You need a Rail if it goes to a landing that requires a guardrail.

Would you not?

A graspable handrail would be required on those steps by current standards (4 or more risers). If the landing is 30" or less above grade, then it would not be required to be guarded.

Rail requirements are per the number of steps when I do 203K specifications. The number is 4 or more. Doesn’t matter to me if the platform is 24" high over 6" steps.

So far no one has fought me on this.

IRC [315.1] Grippable rail req’d if 2 or more risers.

4 Steps at max riser 7.75" = 31"

IRC[316.1] Req’d for any walkoff >30" above floor or grade.

Are you repeating what I said, another way?

If you have a landing >30" you need a guardrail, and a handrail.
If <30" you need handrail if more than 2 steps.

Local accepted codes may varie.

Not sure where you got the 2 steps?? No where in the IRC does it mention the number of steps for egress, it’s always the number of risers. You can have 3 steps and one landing, which equals 4 risers. IRC 311 (Egress), IRC 312 (Guards). The OP’s landing is less than 30", so only the handrail would be required. Probably won’t get installed, but it should be mentioned.


I took it out of the book.

All openings between floors, and open sides of landings, platforms, balconies or porches that are more than 24 inches above grade or a floor shall be protected with guards. Wisconsin Code

Im talking about steps