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Spiral staircase questions


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What are some of the more common issues you find with spiral staircases? Is is acceptable to be the only means of internal access to the upper level of the house? Do you call out the open risers like these as a safety hazard?

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I don't have the IRC in front of me right now, but spiral staircases are specifically covered in there.

No matter what, I would make a note of the open risers. I have to take measurements of these things on site, and then read the code book at home that night to see what is wrong. I just don't see them that often, and different rules apply.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm interested to know if open risers in and of themselves represent a safety hazard. Shouldn't tread overlap be a determining factor? Here's a pic showing this:


These stairs have about a 25% overlap across the entire tread radius. Safe or not from an open riser perspective I wonder? Is 30% better? How about 50%? Interestingly, I've not seen this addressed by building code but then I'm certainly no expert either.

Now I agree that spiral stairs are inherently more dangerous than standard stairs. My daughter fell down a set when she was a small child. If you start your fall towards the center of these types of stairs, its like falling straight down to the floor below.... Fortunately, she wasn't' hurt badly.

Should this fact be written up whenever spiral stairs are encountered though? I dunno...

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  • 3 years later...

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