Why Stairs Are One of the Most Dangerous Areas in Any Structure

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction found that 48% of new homes nationwide had two or more stories last year. Likewise, apartments, condominiums, office buildings, and other popular establishments are typically multi-story.

While multi-story homes and buildings help builders and property owners maximize their space, they also require stairs for occupants to get from one floor to another.

 Dangerous Areas in Any Structure

Our St. Louis personal injury attorney at The Gogel Law Firm knows that stairs can create significantly dangerous circumstances throughout Missouri. Here, we explain how.


Contributing Factors That Turn Stairwells Into Dangerous Premises

Over time, stairs can become worn and unstable, with loose or broken steps and handrails that make it difficult for people to walk safely and steadily.

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure that stairs remain in good condition, but unfortunately, landlords and property managers often overlook this. Steps should be repaired immediately when they become loose or broken—even when slightly wobbly or developing small chips—to decrease injury risks.

Additional hazards on stairs can include, but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate Lighting

Poorly lit stairwells make it difficult to see obstacles, uneven steps, or changes in the tread, leading to slips, trips and falls.

Proper lighting is crucial for highlighting the path and reducing the chances of accidents, particularly in areas where stairs are often used in low-light conditions. Stairwells must be evenly lit across all flights and landings to ensure maximum safety.

  • Slippery Surfaces

Stairs can be dangerous when their surfaces become slippery, which can happen due to spills, wet conditions, unsuitable flooring materials, and wear and tear over time. Slippery surfaces increase the risk of slipping and falling, especially when falling from a significant height, which can cause severe injuries.

Property owners must choose suitable materials for stair surfaces and keep them clean and dry to prevent accidents.

  • Missing or Improper Handrails

Handrails are crucial in stair safety, providing support and stability for all users. A lack of handrails, or the presence of improperly installed or maintained handrails, can lead to a loss of balance and falls.

Wall-mounted handrails should be inspected and checked regularly to ensure they’re stable and adequately secured to the wall. In contrast, stair-mounted handrails should be connected to support posts to ensure they can support the weight of people using the stairs.

Have You Been Injured on Private or Public Property in Missouri?

If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of dangerous conditions on public or private property in Missouri, contact our St. Louis premises liability attorney today to review your case by calling (314)-370-8173 or online to schedule a free consultation.

Need legal help? Give us a call.


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St. Louis, MO 63141

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