Are Spiral Staircases Safe?

Spiral Staircases can look stunning in the right setting and are located in some of the grandest homes across the globe and used by millions each day. Amongst some however there remains a perceived sense of danger with spiral staircases.

Spiral staircases have been used for centuries as a space saving way of gaining access to an upper floor. They are generally installed due of their reduced footprint and because there is insufficient space for a conventional staircase.

Spiral staircases in the UK are subject to rules and regulations that govern the width and depth of the steps to ensure they are as safe as possible. These requirements vary depending on the use and setting of the spiral and who will be using the flight. Generally – the more people who are likely to use the spiral, the larger the diameter and the deeper the tread. There are also regulations to ensure the steps and balustrade can accept a certain load and will fully function under heavy use.

Providing spiral staircases are constructed to the required regulations that are designed to give comfort to the user, then spiral staircases are perfectly safe. Those who ask the question ‘are spiral staircases safe?’ have most likely had a negative experience with spiral stair. Perhaps one that was too small or steep or with huge gaps between the spindles. All elements of course that would be addressed by a new spiral conforming with the regulations. The spiral regulations were introduced in the 1984 in the UK.

Spiral staircases are perhaps not as comfortable to use as a conventional staircase but then they are normally installed because of lack of space and there is no question a spiral stair is safer than a ladder. Conventional stairs and spirals stairs should not be compared side-by-side when considering safety. In most settings, a spiral wouldn’t be in place if there were room for a conventional flight.
Those particularly old or young or those with movement difficulties will struggle with a tighter spiral staircase.

To sum up, spiral staircases are perfectly safe providing they are built to conform with the regulations, and they are used with care and attention.  If concerned about physically using a spiral please  book in a visit to our showroom where we have several models with different diameters.

Unless instructed otherwise, all the spiral stairs we supply are in accordance with the regulations set out in British Standard 5395.  For more information on regulations visit our client information page.

See below some of our most popular models.