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Still gotta ask where the hazard is.

Those treads have an upward extending 1 1/2" lip @ the rear, and the nosing extends down 2". All the rear egress stairs I see have 7 1/2" risers.

7 1/2" - 1 1/2" - 2" = 4".

Maybe the dimensions on these are not the same as everything else in the City, but that's how it plays out on the metal stairs I see.

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Originally posted by Kurt

Still gotta ask where the hazard is.

Those treads have an upward extending 1 1/2" lip @ the rear, and the nosing extends down 2". All the rear egress stairs I see have 7 1/2" risers.

7 1/2" - 1 1/2" - 2" = 4".

Maybe the dimensions on these are not the same as everything else in the City, but that's how it plays out on the metal stairs I see.

The measurement is "between the treads", so even assuming that the IRC does not mean "from the bottom of the nosing vertically to the top of the tread below" - which IMO is what they do mean - it would still require 4" or less between the top of the rear lip and the bottom of the tread above.

The presumed hazard is the same as assumed for baluster spacing, entrapment.

FWIW, do I write it up when I see it? Yes, it's a significant hazard to children.

Do I expect it's likely going to be changed as a result? No.

Why do I bother?

An encounter with two parents who were "paranoid" about child-safety issues... I later learned from the Realtor that their three year-old daughter had been asphyxiated when she became trapped between the body and lid of a toy box - made by her father - which was not equipped with the safety mechanism required on current manufactured products.

I can only imagine how he feels, and the strain that must have put on their marriage.

And I don't even intend to have the same sort of burden on my own conscience because I didn't want to be perceived by a client or Realtor as "too picky" or "obsessed with minor defects no one is ever going to correct".

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Poppycock!

It's not a question of being perceived as being afraid of being accused of being too picky, it's a question of using common sense.

The 4 inches refers to the opening. If the opening is not more than 4 inches, it makes no difference whether that back lip is 4 or 100 inches from the bottom of the next thread, it's too small for a child to get his/her head through according to all of the experts, so it is not a hazard.

This is how inspectorlore gets started. You can't just make up rules because you want to. Do that at home with your own home, but use the established rules when you're inspecting. That's why they exist.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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A poor kid gets hurt in an obscure & peculiar manner, so interpret the building code, in a stretch @ best, to save the poor parent(s) any more anguish(?).

I'm not much on those sorts of arguments. I think it's a wrong.

Also, the "I'm not afraid to be called picky" appellation is tedious; it inevitably boils down to subjectivity & silliness, w/the boilerplate argument ensuing about who's the pickiest, and therefore the most thorough, inspecting unit.

I hate being called picky. I like being considered knowledgeable. Being knowledgeable means knowing & understanding the application of the code. That means not making up things to satisfy a perceived mental state of the customer.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Poppycock!

It's not a question of being perceived as being afraid of being accused of being too picky, it's a question of using common sense.

The 4 inches refers to the opening. If the opening is not more than 4 inches, it makes no difference whether that back lip is 4 or 100 inches from the bottom of the next thread, it's too small for a child to get his/her head through according to all of the experts, so it is not a hazard.

This is how inspectorbar gets started. You can't just make up rules because you want to. Do that at home with your own home, but use the established rules when you're inspecting. That's why they exist.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Mike,

Is that comment directed to the content of my post, immediately preceding yours, or something else?

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It's directed specifically to this:

The measurement is "between the treads", so even assuming that the IRC does not mean "from the bottom of the nosing vertically to the top of the tread below" - which IMO is what they do mean - it would still require 4" or less between the top of the rear lip and the bottom of the tread above.
There is no requirement for there to be four inches or less between the bottom of the thread and the top of that upturned lip on a lower step. The requirement is only for four inches between the bottom edge of the turned-down nosing of the upper tread and the top of that upturned lip on the thread below it.

It was an epic struggle, and took me only about 5 hours to get to format half decently, but Frank Woeste sent me an article last night about inspecting decks which kind of applies to this topic. Go here:

http://www.tijonline.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4655

OT - OF!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

[brIt's directed specifically to this:

The measurement is "between the treads", so even assuming that the IRC does not mean "from the bottom of the nosing vertically to the top of the tread below" - which IMO is what they do mean - it would still require 4" or less between the top of the rear lip and the bottom of the tread above.
There is no requirement for there to be four inches or less between the bottom of the thread and the top of that upturned lip on a lower step. The requirement is only for four inches between the bottom edge of the turned-down nosing of the upper tread and the top of that upturned lip on the thread below it.

It was an epic struggle, and took me only about 5 hours to get to format half decently, but Frank Woeste sent me an article last night about inspecting decks which kind of applies to this topic. Go here:

http://www.tijonline.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4655

OT - OF!!!

Mike

I'm no problem with discovering that my interpretation of the code is incorrect, do you have a cite for yours?

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It's:

311.5.3 Stair treads and risers.

311.5.3.3.Profile.[...]Open risers are permitted, provided that the opening between threads does not permit the passage of a 4-inch diameter (102mm) sphere.

So, using this metal stair example - there's nothing in there that says the top edge of that upturned lip must be within 4inches of the underside of the thread above - which would place it behind the downturned lip. It specifically refers to the vertical distance between the upturned lip at the back of the lower thread and the downturned lip that forms the nosing on the thread above. These form the "opening."

OT - OF!!!

M.

200751718930_MetalStairs.jpg

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Originally posted by chicago

Kurt we do not do local code and this specific inspection ended up being between walls of the unit anyway.

I may be mistaken but thought I had read somewhere about Chicago now requiring solid risers.

I'm not sure what you mean by "we do not do local code".

I've not seen anything @ the Chicago DOB website, nor @ DCAP, that says we need solid risers.

Could be though; it is essentially impossible to know what's going on with the Chicago codes, as there's no single repositiory for all the goofy stuff we have to know, and it's changing all the time. All we can do is try and keep up.

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Thanks for the info.

I tried to get through to the department of buildings with no success today

That must be why all these sites are selling Chicago code books.

Three years ago when building new stairs for the back of my house,around the same time I did recall reading they were required to be solid.

This is why I had sealed them off when I could have saved time leaving them open.

Also I thought that this provision had to do with feet slipping to far allowing you to trip when walking up.Not so much the kid can fall thru.

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Originally posted by emalernee

Do we have any comments about the open left side of the stairs?

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

Why would we. Only one is required and they've got it on the side that's got the stairwell, so it prevents anyone going off that side.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Michael,

Please check your encoding settings and see what they're set for. I had to take my encoding setting off of auto and change them to unicode in order to be able to read your post fully in English. For virtually everything in this country you'll want it set to 'auto-select.' That way, the computer will automatically adjust to the predominant language on the site. If you don't know how to do it, just go to 'help' on your browser, look up 'encoding' in your index and then follow the instructions.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by hausdok

Originally posted by emalernee

Do we have any comments about the open left side of the stairs?

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

Why would we. Only one is required and they've got it on the side that's got the stairwell, so it prevents anyone going off that side.

OT - OF!!!

So a baby knows not to fall off the left side and hold on to the right side? In our area we are required to enclose the steps to the basement with walls or cattle rails that meet the opening standards. Is there a exception for outside metal stairs?

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

M.

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