How To Design A Disabled Access Handrail
Having noticed with a few of our disability handrail orders that not all the required fittings were ordered by the customer, I have decided to try and put a bit of a piece together to try and help show exactly what specialised fittings are required. Our NDA handrail systems not only look different from the Kee Klamp handrail system. They also perform differently, and are designed in a specific way to ensure they are compliant with the National Disability Authority.
Hopefully this piece can make it easier for people to design their own handrail using the Kee Access fittings, and ensure that they don't leave out any of the key fittings which they require.
A good place to start is with the internal coupling, the 514-7. This fitting is the main component which I do notice being left out when needed. The 514-7 is what connects many of our fittings with the tube and ensures that there are no breaks or bumps, creating a smooth, continuous handrail from start to finish.
Many of our specialised fittings, such as the 520-7 90° Solid Elbow and the 554-7 Variable Angle require the 514-7 coupling to connect to the handrail tube. The outer ends of the 514-7 allow the tubing to run over them, while its central core is visible and runs in line with the tube and the fittings.
This is demonstrated in the images below:
Handrail Upright Size
All of our NDA fittings are designed to hold a 42.4mm (size 7) handrail. A handrail should be this size to suit the average hand size, as it is most comfortable to hold and ensures the best grip.
While the handrail itself is a size 7, the uprights use a size 8 (48.3mm) tube, which provides greater strength against the possible load which might be placed against it. We use the 10-840C and 10-848 fittings with the size 8 upright to connect a handrail. The 10-840C is used for the top rail and holds the 518-7, which in turn holds the handrail itself. The 10-848 performs the same function in the middle of the upright, holding the 518-7 and also the middle rail.
Ramps and Slopes
The Kee Access range contains disability handrail fittings which are designed to work on all ramps or sloped areas. 67-8, 63-8 and 363-8 are base flanges which are angled to suit the gradient on which the upright will be situated. A 67-8 is used where the slope is between 3° and 11°, a 363-8 is used where the slope is between 11° and 30° and a 63-8 is used where the slope is between 45° and 60°.
For steps or other flat surfaces, a 62-8 standard railing flange can be used to house the upright.
The 554-7 variable angle is another widely used fitting when it comes to a ramp or sloped surface. It is often used to transition between differing slopes or from a slope to a railing on a landing area. A 514-7 internal coupling is then also required on each side to join the tube.
Creating a "D-Return"
A D-return is a nice way of finishing your handrail when it contains both a top and medium rail. It also ensures that clothes cannot get caught on the end of the rail, avoiding a possible injury. Also the turn in the rail will alert somebody with visual impairment that the handrail has come to an end.
To create a D-return simply use the 520-7 90° Solid Elbow along with a 514-7 internal coupling on either side to create the curve, and then use the same again to join to the other rail.
Wall Mounted Handrail
We attach a handrail to the wall using either a 565-7 end return or a 570-7 wall mounted handrail bracket. The end return allows the handrail to end by turning into the wall, which is useful for alerting the user with poor eyesight that it has come to an end. It contains screw holes for attaching it securely to the wall. A 514-7 internal coupling needs to be used with this fitting in order to attach the tube while allowing it to run smoothly with no breaks.
The handrail bracket contains a narrow saddle which carries the handrail and has two holes inserted for screw fixing. The ends of the rail should not end suddenly, as this can be dangerous, especially for someone with disabilities. A turn should be created using a 520-7 90° solid elbow.
Hopefully by reading this, you will have a good idea of how to put together a Kee Access handrail. What I find the best thing to do is to try and break down each section and figure out what is needed for each. When two different pitches meet, the 554-7 variable angle is usually a satisfactory solution. Knowing what fittings require the 514-7 internal coupling to join the tube is something else to consider, and hopefully now you will have a good idea of this also.
If you would like more advice on your design, then you can give us a call on 086 1408442. We will be delighted to help.