If you’re planning on celebrating Christmas with family and friends by gathering for lunch on your deck or watching the New Years fireworks from your balcony you may want to double check that it can hold your weight.
Robert Caulfield, a Melbourne based Architect specialising in designing safe homes, has warned anyone planning to hold a Christmas or New Year’s Eve function that will see people occupying a balcony or deck should check that it is safe and not at risk of collapse.
“Balconies are usually used by a small family group of three to four people, however, when fifteen to twenty adults or more gather on a balcony the stress on the structure often reaches breaking point and the balcony collapses often causing serious injury.
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“Anyone with a balcony or raised deck should check it out carefully for safety, including an inspection for rotting timbers, shaky hand rails and balustrades, corroded bolts and brackets, rust stains and cracking in concrete balconies”.
Mr Caulfield said seaside properties with balconies or decks are high risk, especially when they lack regular maintenance, as the salt air can quickly corrode bolts and other steel support fixtures.
Christmas festivities and New Year’s Eve celebrations are one of the most dangerous times for deck and balcony collapses.