- Stairs provide access for people, furniture and appliances; and must be wide enough and have sufficient headroom to provide safe passage. Falls on stairs are a major source of accidents, and risk is reduced by strict adherence to code requirements for the width, rise and run of stairs.
- Open stairs must be surrounded by guards and railings that meet code requirements for height and lateral load resistance. Guards must be high enough to keep adults from falling over them and balusters must be closely spaced to prevent children from falling through them.
- Straight stairs make it easier to move large objects, and can be fitted with lifts when persons with disabilities need access to another floor level.
- Stairs can be built on site in rough form for use during construction, then finished when the house is nearing completion. Alternatively, a temporary stair or ladder can be used during construction and replaced with a finished stair when the house is complete. In the latter case, the stair design must account for the thickness of the floor finishes and the stair opening must provide extra room in which to manoeuvre the finished stair.
Source : Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)