Monday, January 16, 2017

Stair safety

I don't have too many projects to work on out at the house any more! I've been ticking them off one by one over the years.

One thing that I've been thinking about recently is the stairs out to our deck. Janne built me broad stairs all those years ago. But over time, the wood has become weathered and grey. This reduces the visibility of each step.

The stairs look wonderfully silvery in this photo, but they are hard to tell apart, especially in flat light. Wearing bifocals (as Sooz and I do these days) also add to the problem of depth perception.

The easiest solution is to add some tread tape to the edge of the stairs. That would provide both visual and tactile feedback about the edge of each step.

Even my ridiculously simple drawing of three black lines on the second photo shows how much more contrast is visible on those stairs.

There is a lot of science behind stair safety. It is clear that being able to clearly see and feel the edge of each step is helpful in reducing slips and falls.

I am going to try out tread tape this spring when we're out to the house next. I think I can do it in a way that looks decent. My main concern is such tape surviving the winter weather, but we'll have to experiment with that. I will report back more fully in a few months.

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