The difference between 'warm' and 'not cold'
We often get asked for a 'warm to touch' handrail; however, typically in a specification, this isn’t the correct term: it should be specified as 'not cold to touch'.
So what is the difference? In the 2005 edition of BS 8300, a note added to clause 5.10.1 puts the recommendation that handrails should not be 'cold to the touch' in context. It indicates that in parts of the country which experience harsh winter weather conditions, external metal handrails can become extremely cold. In these circumstances, some people may be reluctant to use the handrail (or involuntary let go of the handrail) if it is uncomfortably cold, representing a safety hazard.
In extreme cases, a person's skin could adhere to a very cold handrail or the shock can, in some people, trigger an attack of Raynaud's disease. To minimise the effects of cold, handrails should be manufactured from materials with a low thermal conductivity, such as metal be coated with plastics or from materials such as wood.
Our powder-coated DDA handrails can significantly reduce the effects of extreme cold weather by providing a 'not cold' handrail that can be used by most people. Find out more