What are the ADA Requirements for Commercial Stairways? | Custom Handrails Charlotte

Since it was passed in 1990, the ADA has required all commercial building owners to provide a safe environment for those with limited movement. If you don’t comply with the ADA, the penalties are far from a slap on the wrist–organizations can be fined up to $75,000 for their first ADA violation, and up to $150,000 for subsequent offenses. Obviously, that’s a major hit for most businesses, and could be enough to cause any small business to go bankrupt.

If you own commercial property, below are some ADA requirements to consider when it comes to your building’s stairways, entrances, and exits. Note that this is far from being a comprehensive list. In order to ensure you are in complete compliance, be sure to consult the official ADA website.

ADA Rules for Entrance Routes  

The ADA states that people with disabilities should be able to arrive to the property, approach the building, and enter as freely as anyone else. There should be at least one route of travel that does not require the use of stairs. Requirements for travel routes include:

  • Route is stable and slip-resistant
  • Route least 36 inches wide
  • Objects protruding into the route (i.e. hedges) are within 27 inches off the ground
  • Objects mounted overhead (i.e. lights) must be higher than 80 inches
  • Curbs on the route must have curb cuts at drop-offs

ADA Rules for Ramps

All commercial buildings must have at least one wheelchair ramp. Wheelchair ramp requirements include:

  • All ramps longer than 6 feet must handrails on both sides
  • Handrails must be sturdy, and between 34 and 38 inches high
  • The width between railings or curbs must be at least 36 inches
  • The ramp’s slope must be no greater than 1:12 (or, for every 12 inches along the base of the ramp, the height increases one inch)
  • Ramps must be non-slip
  • There must be a 5-foot-long level landing at every 30-foot horizontal length of ramp, at the top and bottom of ramps and at switchbacks
  • The ramp must rise no more than 30 inches between landings

ADA Rules for Stairs

All stairs which connect levels, which are not serviced by an elevator or lift, must meet the following requirements:

  • Stair treads must have a non-slip surface
  • Stairs must have continuous railings on both sides, with extensions beyond the top and bottom

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If you need handrails installed at your commercial facility, call James Fence and Gate. We are proud to offer the best handrail installation services in Charlotte and its surrounding areas. To schedule a free estimate, call us today!