A handrail is a rail that is designed to be grasped by the hand so as to provide stability or support. Handrails are commonly used while ascending or descending stairways and escalators in order to prevent injurious falls. Handrails are typically supported by posts or mounted directly to walls.
Similar items not covered in this article include bathroom handrails — which help to prevent falls on slippery, wet floors — other grab bars, used, for instance, in ships’ galleys, and barres, which serve as training aids for ballet dancers. Guard rails and balustrades line drop-offs and other dangerous areas, keeping people and vehicles out.