After an extensive study lasting three years, the government's panel on Health and Safety in Britain have come to the conclusion that stair rails, or banisters, should not be smooth.
"There was an accident in 2008," said the government's chief Health and Safety officer, Sophie Anne Heath. "A man in Dorking was sliding down a banister when he fell off and severely sprained an ankle."
Following the accident, plans were put in place to determine what, if anything, could be done to make banisters a safer stair accessory.
"Our initial approach was to remove banisters," said Heath. "However, one of the other departments in the H&S offices objected, as a previous study had shown how dangerous stairs could be without banisters."
Public consultation and study groups followed to determine how existing banisters could be rendered safe.
"We attempted to put foam padding on the stairs, in case somebody did fall," said Heath. "However, the Stair Safety Study had previously shown that leaving items on stairs was also dangerous. It was a poser."
Investigations with crash test dummies showed that quite a bit of speed could be built up on a suitably long banister, but shorter banisters weren't the option, due to the requirement that all banisters should be slightly longer than the stair case. An internet questionnaire revealed that the major reason for sliding down banisters was that it was fun.
"Earlier this year, we came up with a solution," said Heath. "All the departments were happy that it wouldn't contravene any other safety edicts."
All banisters in public buildings are now to be retrofitted with bobbles spaced every five feet.
"This makes sliding down a banister a very painful experience," Heath said. "This appears to do the trick."
Leaflets are also to be sent out to ever house in the country, even bungalows, to urge house owners to do the same.