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What does a ramp need to be safe?

As a Connecticut business owner, you do your best to ensure that your store is accessible to everyone. However, if your ramp does not have the right specifications, someone who gets hurt may be able to say that it was a liability. According to the United States Access Board, you need to have a ramp if one portion of the ground or floor will be a half-inch higher than the rest.

When designing a ramp for your building, it is important to consider the number of runs you include. While a limit does not exist, you should bear in mind that people in manual wheelchairs may find multiple runs tiring. You may want to consider a short ramp so it is accessible to more people. When you include more than one run, it is also a good idea to think about the landings. Because ramps will likely be used by elderly or handicapped people, it is good to make sure that landings are never less than 60 inches wide. Additionally, you also want to make sure that water will not build up after it rains.

It is also important to consider curb ramps. You may want to use side flares to keep people from tripping. Because this feature is not meant to help people maneuver their wheelchairs, it is a good idea to design a landing which provides the necessary space. Ideally, the curb landing would be the same width as the ramp.

You may want to avoid ramps which curve, as these do not always have the smooth surface and level landings required. It is also good to pay attention to handrails. These usually should not overlap with landings because it is important for these areas to be clear for maximum maneuverability. Additionally, ramps cannot be portable and brought out as needed; they typically need to be permanent features of your building.

This information is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice.

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