What code requires the area pictured to be guarded on this stairwell?

Attached is a photo of a staircase at an apartment complex. One side has a handrail, the other side, between the stairs and floor above, is open. Now pictured are 3 boards which have been put in as a temporary guard.

What code requires that area not to be open?

Thank you in advance!

IRC Sections 312.1 and 312.2

312.1 requires guards on open sides of stairs with a rise of more than 30 inches. 312.2 states that the guards shall not allow a sphere 4" in diameter to pass through, 6" at the triangle formed by riser, guard and tread.

Thanks, Robert!

Still looks like that area is out of code. Is there a specific name for that type of open area between the stairwell and the floor above/below?

Don’t get to caught up on code. Just point out the safety issue you observe, note it in your report and move on.

If code is your concern the Entire hand/guard rail, on both sides of stairs from top to bottom, is not accepted by any recognized building code.

I’m an attorney, not an inspector. I was doing some investigative work for a case of mine and it looked to be out of code, but I wanted to make sure before I hired someone to tell me that it was fine. :wink:

Bingo, yes we have a good bingo. There are several other safety concerns with that entire had/guard rail set up.


He’s an attorney in Florida…so damn glad those photos don’t look familiar!

many items seen in the (incomplete) pictured stairway may not comply to today’s standards

the stairs and associated components obviously were allowed by or the ahj was paid/bribed to allow them at the time of build, if in a permitting region of the world

two questions need to be answered or researched to provide factual information
when were they built?
what if any code was being enforced when/if the building permit was issued?

the previous code references are from 2012 IRC and probably not applicable to when the shaq was built

if indeed you are an attorney
in the future i would hope you would be forthcoming with who you are and the details for your inquiries and provide contact information so a proper contract & billing for “expert witness research” can be administered

I appreciate the help offered in the thread and I can somewhat understand what you’re saying. If i were to ask for a report, or for any real digging aside from someone looking at a picture and answering offhand, I would be sure to do so. Also, if I felt the answer was coming from someone who I then wanted to speak with and hire as an expert witness, I would be sure to do so.

Not sure if you’re just trying to pick a fight, but I don’t think it’s really warranted.

an implication of professional decorum, is not a declaration of war
remove your suit, relax and accept some free info :mrgreen:

Michael, I think Barry kinda likes you.