The outdoors is a beautiful place, but also a dangerous one. There are countless reasons that make the outdoors a hazardous place to be, but the purpose of this writing is to discuss a very specific kind of hazard: outdoor stairs. Think about the last time you went outside. Chances are good that stairs of some sort were involved. As common as staircases are, they also pose a specific risk of slipping and falling. A direct and cost-effective method of reducing the risks of such accidents occurring is through the use of outdoor stair treads.
Slipping and falling has been with mankind for as long as we first learned how to walk. Unfortunately, it can end up being a very dangerous part of life. Many of these types of accidents happen on stairs. People have been looking at this problem for many years now in the hopes of raising awareness about stairway safety and coming up with viable staircase solutions. Cornell University published a study that used data from 1996 showing that about 984,000 people suffered injuries related to slip and fall accidents (http://www.human.cornell.edu/dea/outreach/upload/Stair-Safety-2-2.pdf). As time has gone by, that number has only increased. Fast forward to 2011, falls caused about 8.9 million people to seek medical attention for their injuries (http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/Pages/Falls.aspx#slips, trips and falls).
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Since most of these accidents happen on stairways, a solution to this problem has emerged in the form of a rubber stair tread. These are rubber mats that are designed for the individual steps of a staircase so that the steps are transformed into safe and secure non-slip steps. More importantly for the needs of consumers, however, many rubber treads can be used as outdoor stair treads.
To understand how a rubber stair tread can increase stairway safety, it is important to understand a key quality inherent to rubber: traction. The reason why rubber is so popular for use in flooring products is because it comes with a naturally high co-efficient of friction. This friction gives a good level of pushback against the feet going across the surface of the rubber. This translates to high traction. Your feet will effectively be “gripped” onto the surfaces of these outdoor stair treads, greatly reducing your chances of suffering a nasty slip and fall accident. This is primarily why rubber is perfect for use as non-slip steps.
What good would rubber be if it couldn’t handle the rigors of the outdoors?
The outdoors pose a unique set of conditions that are not found indoors. The biggest differentiator to worry about is wet weather. Stairs located on the outside of your home, or just about any outdoor area in general, are subject to moisture in the form of rain and snow. Moisture can greatly compromise stairway safety. Rubber outdoor stair treads are among the most ideal safety for staircase solutions currently available on the market.
Rubber is able to handle moisture very effectively. A rubber stair tread will not lose its traction capabilities when wet. Neither will these non-slip steps suffer from the usual type of microbial damage that comes from excessive amounts of moisture. In most other materials, moisture can cause mold and mildew to develop. The presence of these can lead to serious health problems. However, the chances of them appearing on rubber outdoor stair treads is very minimal, if not entirely negated. Rubber prohibits the development of the microbial byproducts that form mold, mildew, and other similar hazards. At the end of the day, not only will you be keeping yourself safe from harmful accidents, but you will also be keeping yourself, your guests, and your surroundings healthy.
Outdoor weather is not always wet. Although some people may not think it, sunlight can cause damage to certain materials as well. Since outdoor stair treads are usually made of recycled rubber, you will not have to worry about them cracking or peeling quickly in the face of intense UV rays and ozone. A rubber stair tread will last for a much longer time under the sun than other non-synthetic stair treads.
If you are looking for dependable stairway safety products, then rubber outdoor stair treads are among the best and most reliable staircase solutions currently available. They are durable and cost-effective. The rubber material’s ability to grip your feet and enhance traction makes them perfect for keeping you safe and secure. Your outdoor staircases will benefit greatly from their functional qualities. Better yet, they are very easy to install, making them a time and money saving DIY project. Do not leave your outdoor stairways hazardous for you and your guests. Safeguard them with outdoor stair treads!