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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I live in NYC and just purchased a home. I am wondering if a handrail or guardrail is required on this set of stairs? I am not sure if the most up to date code requires a handrail for a set of stairs that only has two risers. They connect and entry landing and the kitchen floor seen in the pictures. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!
 

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Technically, something to worry about more would be no landing (or whatever you would call it) at the top of the steps. Someone coming in from outside might have sun blindness or transition lenses and be in for a surprise on their second step. I don't know what NYC code is, but I would not worry about a railing unless you have an ailment that requires one.
 
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I agree with CG, wow...how did they get away with that setup ? But you just bought the home, to me it is not on your watch anyway. But to add some confusion, one has to determine in the pic if it has two steps or one step to decipher how the code applies. I say one. But lets see what others say. I found this 2003 stair codes for NYC for reference.

https://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/pdf/RCstairsTB.pdf
 

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That does look dangerous.

I would go ahead and add some safety to it myself.

But that is because I spent years picking up my mother from spills that any able person would not have fallen from.

So I automatically look for " TRIP HAZARDS" anywhere I am, and now that I have gotten different abled I myself have taken more spills than I want.

It should not cost a fortune to secure this, much less than a cast for a broken arm.


ED
 

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Cod or not code this ole man would appreciate a rail with a narrow ( maybe 10"-12" wide ) table or stand just to the left of the rail ( interior ) to set items on while tending to the door. Also a small shelf or table on the opposite side of the door ( outdoors ) on the right side to act in the same manner. I've discovered how convenient they are when have had and then have not had to set items on. Hopefully you will live long enough see a convenience in things such as this.
 

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I think a warning sign hanging on the wall would help the most. A door that swings away from the person makes the person blind to the next step, so a rule says there must be even platform, but yours is built in and grandfathered.
Something like floor steps down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all of the info everyone. I made some calls to a few local builders who specialize in staircase. They all said 3 steps was the minimum requirement for handrails so I think I'm good on that end.

I have attached a picture of the other side, which is a short entryway with a door leading outside. Not sure if that changes any of your opinions. Right now I think I'll go with the warning sign hung on the door.
 

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My wife when fussing about my muddy boots in the house, swears that men probably never look down to see what they are walking through. So a sign with a beige background and red letters stating, "Step Down ! " on the door right under the window glass...may be good to. JMO
 

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I agree with CG, wow...how did they get away with that setup ? But you just bought the home, to me it is not on your watch anyway. But to add some confusion, one has to determine in the pic if it has two steps or one step to decipher how the code applies. I say one. But lets see what others say. I found this 2003 stair codes for NYC for reference.

https://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/pdf/RCstairsTB.pdf
That codes says 2 or more risers (not steps). OP has 2 risers.
 
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