Railings for the Holidays

Safety during the holidays

The holidays are a time you want to spend with
loved ones, sharing drinks, late nights, and
special memories. If you’re planning on
hosting special events or holiday celebrations
this season, you want everyone to have an
amazing time. It is especially important to
keep up your property to keep everyone safe. If
you’re wondering what role a railing system
plays, ask yourself this question: Do you have
parents, grandparents, or any other guests
visiting that might need some extra help
getting up the stairs?

A short story

Last winter, my aunt in her mid-70s was
enjoying a family holiday celebration a couple
days before Christmas. At the end of the night,
after a few drinks, just as it was starting to
snow, she slipped down the front steps which
did not have a guard rail. Even though she only
fell down a couple steps, she fractured her hip.
She spent several days in the hospital and
ended up needing hip replacement surgery. If
anyone has had this surgery, they know how
life-altering it can be! Two months went by
before she was independent enough to do her
own grocery shopping again.

Why should I be especially
concerned during the holidays?

Slips and falls become more of a hazard during
winter months, and being prepared is as
simple as having the correct stair railing
installed. Did you know that in North America,
as many as 1 in 3 seniors will experience a fall
this winter? Most falls happen when going
down outside stairs because of:
– Slippery steps
– Environmental factors like snow, sleet,
or rain
– Poor balance
– Decreased strength
– Poor visibility in winter months

What factors should I consider
when choosing my railing?

Height and depth of stairs

In the winter, climbing stairs is already
difficult. If your stairs are too steep, having a
strong railing won’t help. Stairs that are easier
to climb and descend are ones with lower riser
heights, and larger tread depths.

Railing width

Young people may not even use a hand railing
for support. However, think about someone
with limited strength or arthritis: for optimal
safety it’s important to install thick hand rails
like powder-coated aluminum or iron.


Consider family or friends that use a cane, for example. They will need to support their entire body weight using a hand rail. By using strong anchor-based railings, you ensure their safety.


Winter months provide particularly poor visibility, especially at night when most functions take place. LED lights are a great choice as you can install them directly on the stairs, or on railing posts, and angle them
where elderly family will need to step. 

When you’re enjoying time with loved ones,
the last thing you want to worry about is
anyone getting hurt. Let Ottawa Deck and Rail
help you customize your front stair railings to
keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday