Volume 47, Issue 6 - July/August 2008

The Next Step
SMA shares information

by Wendy Jozwiak, SMA director of operations. 
Ms. Jozwiak’s opinions are solely her own and do not necessarily reflect those of this magazine.

What’s Holding You Back?
The SMA Offers Invaluable Information

Since its inception in 1988, the Stairway Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) has strived to create value for its members through a variety of member products, services and programs. 

Composed of member companies representing every facet of the stair industry, the SMA is the only non-profit trade organization devoted to representing the stair industry’s interests and to helping advance the quality of stairs and stair safety throughout the world. In addition, the SMA is actively involved in the development of building codes and standards related to the stair industry.

Through its research, the SMA has helped produce and lobby for safe stairway codes that not only benefit its membership, but also the general public. The SMA’s highly respected Visual Interpretations of the International Residential Code™ is the organization’s premier educational product for both its members and others involved in the stair industry. This influential publication has become an essential element of code training nationally. Moreover, the SMA has created seminars, workshops and forums to provide educational programs for architects, builders and building officials. This has given all sectors of the industry a reason to value and respect the SMA. 

The SMA is committed to offering its members the best possible business aids. This includes many member benefits such as the new electronic bi-monthly newsletter to help members keep abreast of news in the stair industry. 

The SMA website, www.stairways.org, has also undergone a transformation, most importantly with the addition of the interactive member locator map. The map allows potential customer and clients the opportunity to locate SMA members in their state in seconds. Prospective members can apply online, and current members can renew their membership and pay dues online. 

The SMA has also initiated a legislative and legal tracking program so that SMA members will be alerted when any legislation concerning stairs is proposed in any of the 50 states or at the federal level. Lawsuits concerning the stair industry are also tracked so that members are kept abreast of cases that may affect them.

The SMA is also in the process of developing a Stair Safety Program for school children. This program will help youngsters learn about proper stair climbing and safety. Starring “Stacey the Safety Squirrel,” school-aged children are encouraged to check their own homes for stair safety. The program is anticipated to launch a test pilot program in a number of schools this fall, with a full launch toward the end of the year. 

The SMA recognizes that stair safety is important for everyone, young and old, and nowhere is the SMA’s presence more strongly felt than in the code arena. Led by an active, involved code development representative, the SMA continues to keep industry issues before the International Code Committee (ICC), educate code officials and provide back-up and support for its members when they are involved in code issues. To members of the stair industry, these services are invaluable and they are included for free in SMA membership.

Moreover, the SMA has recently begun extending membership privileges to governmental officials. Any certified building official, inspector, instructor or engineer who is a member in good standing of the ICC, may join the association without having to submit member dues, further strengthening the symbiotic relationship between the SMA and the code community. 

Looking toward the future, the SMA will continue to be a leader in the stair industry, as well as work to add to the value of association membership. 

So, the only question left is: why haven’t you joined the SMA? With all that it has to offer, you would be remiss not to join. 

Please visit www.stairways.org or call 877/500-5759 for additional information, as well as to apply for membership. 

© Copyright 2008 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.