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About the Scheme

Staircases can be the centrepiece of a building adding character and enhancing the design aesthetic. However, they are also the most common accident zone in the home other than the kitchen and a critical area of non compliance with building regulations.

Staircases can be the centrepiece of a building adding character and enhancing the design aesthetic. However, they are also the most common accident zone in the home other than the kitchen and a critical area of non compliance with building regulations.

It is now estimated that there are more than 350,000 injuries and 550 deaths in the UK every year are caused by falls on domestic stairs and more than 100,000 injuries due to slips and falls on non-domestic stairs, leading to a further 100 fatalities. This may, in fact, be an underestimate of the real problem as many minor falls are not recorded, and it has been estimated that the actual number of injuries could be up to five times higher.

The Department for Communities flag up the problems in the landmark report BD 2518: Review of health and safety risk drivers which spotlights the dimensions of rises and goings, nosings, stair design, handrails and guarding. Various tread and rise dimensions have been promulgated, but small goings represent a clear risk. The importance of handrails in stair safety has been recognised and notably the hazards to children from entrapment and climbability.

The BWF Stair Scheme saw the industry react to this research with an aim to supporting specifiers, contractors and clients to both specify and install safe stairs correctly throughour guidance, which includes fact cards, CPD resources, and videos. We also run an advice line for these stakeholders should their be specific questions about timber staircase design, specification or installation.

Download the BWF Stair Scheme Manual

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Accredited Domestic Stairs

Covers Single Occupancy Dwellings, use Type 1 as defined in the Building Regulations.

Domestic Stair BadgeBWF Stair Scheme Requirements

Stairs must be constructed in a prescriptive fashion to comply with the relevant technical standards and regulations as listed in the BWF Stair Scheme Design Guide Domestic Stairs OR,

Stairs must be tested to the relevant standards, including any demountable components OR,

Stairs Performance must be predicted in accordance with calculation standards (as defined in the BWF Stair Scheme Design Guide) or by a suitably qualified Structural Engineer and manufactured to these designs

The performance of the Stair can be demonstrated by successful application in existing installations (past experience, as defined within the Building Regulations) – in this instance materials that form part of the structural elements of the stair must conform to the specifications for structural materials as defined in the BWF Stair Scheme Design Guide – Domestic Stairs.

See the BWF Stair Scheme Design Guide – Domestic Stairs for further information

To find a scheme member supplying Accredited Domestic Stairs click here

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Accredited General Access Stairs

Scheme Level B: Covers Multiple Occupancy Dwellings, Use Type 2 & 3, Common Flights as defined in the Building Regulations.

Common Stair BadgeScheme Requirements

Stairs must be constructed in a prescriptive fashion to comply with the relevant technical standards and regulations OR,

Stairs must be tested to the relevant standards OR,

Stairs Performance must be predicted in accordance with calculation standards or designed by a suitably qualified Structural Engineer and manufactured to these designs

Scheme Members will provide product specifications and/or test evidence to the auditor. Any changes must be submitted and assessed before implementation.

To find a scheme member supplying Accredited General Access Stairs click here

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Fire-rated General Access Stairs

Fire characteristics in Building Regulations are made up of two types, ‘Reaction to fire’ and ‘Fire resistance’.

In medium-rise buildings, the common flight stair may act as one of the routes of escape in the event of fire.  The implications of this for the safety of the occupants of the building and the emergency rescue services demand a higher level of accreditation.   In recent years it is recognised that appropriately certificated timber options has an increased role to play in applications of this nature

Scheme Requirements

Fire Common Stair Badge

As a consequence, in addition to the requirements for General Access (Common) Stairs, Members will need to achieve independent third-party certification of their Fire Protected General Access (Common) Stairs by the Scheme’s certification partner the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB)[1].

A company must meet the requirements of Level A (in the case of Single Occupancy) OR Level B (in the case of Multiple Occupancy), AND

Fire protection certification

The BWF Stair Scheme certification partner for fire protected stairs is BRE Global. Certification can be provided for stairs tested successfully to the method determined under project BD2569 commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Guidance from the BWF on Fire Protected Staircases

Fire Performance of Escape Stairs Guidance Document: BD 2569: This is the guidance document to the final research report for the project ‘Fire Performance of Escape Stairs’ commissioned by Communities and Local Government and carried out by BRE

To find a scheme member supplying Fire Rated Accredited General Access Stairs click here

 

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

BWF does not offer any guarantee on members work and cannot accept responsibility for any works undertaken by members of the scheme.

If a problem arises we do operate a dispute resolution process and details can be provided via bwf@bwf.org.uk.

It is recognised that a manufacturer is only responsible (unless otherwise stated) for the product provided and advice and design (as appropriate) and cannot be held liable should the stair be installed badly by a third party or a henceforth unknown or subsequent decision by an external party could render the installation incompliant with current regulation.

The BWF Stair Scheme does not accredit installation, however, to support the supply chain guidance is available on the installation of staircases on the installation of staircases.

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