A handrail is a graspable support located on one or both sides of a stairway.
Handrails are required on every exterior and interior flight of stairs having more than four risers. Handrails must be installed so that the distance from the nose of the stairs to the handrail is consistent for the run of the stairs and is installed between 34 and 38 inches high. Handrails must return to the wall or newel post.
Existing handrails installed at a reasonable height may remain until replacement is necessary. The space between the handrail and the wall may not be smaller than 1.5 inches.
The handrail must be easily grasped. Circular handrails must have a diameter between 1.25 and 2 inches. If the handrail is not circular, a variety of types are available, but must be graspable or have finger recess areas on both sides. Final determination will be by the Building Official.