Nonstructural Components and Systems
The International Code Council (ICC) in 2017 published AC273, "Acceptance Criteria For Handrails and Guards" to help establish requirements for the acceptance of handrails and guards under the International Building Codes and International Residential Codes. However, using the criteria in real-world test situations under Code loads demonstrated the inadequacy of the deflection limits as set forth in the AC273 criteria. This article presents an analysis of the AC273 criteria, a discussion of the deflection limits already existing within the Codes, the results of real-world testing using an on-site test rig and Code loading (with photos and tabulated results), and proposed revisions to the acceptance criteria. The information presented would be of use to engineers designing handrails and would help them avoid undesirable handrail performance and potential claims.