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  1. #1
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    Default Deck Collapses In The News

    Summertime is when decks see the most use and when we hear about more decks collapsing, often causing serious injuries or deaths. Decks should be inspected for proper construction and attachment and for signs of deterioration.

    Remember that people do not always use decks inteligently. Young people especially tend to overload decks by cramming people onto the deck. Add a keg or two of beer (162 pounds each plus ice) and people dancing to music (additional live loads and lateral loads pulling the deck away from its connection to the house) and a deck can become overloaded and fail very quickly.

    Below are a few recent news articles about deck failures that will hopefully reinforce the importance of deck inspections as part of home inspections.

    Partygoers face drinking charges in deck collapse

    07/31/07

    SHIP BOTTOM (NJ) Police have filed various alcohol-related charges against 17 Mercer County people who were at an East Bay Terrace home when a deck collapsed last Tuesday.

    At the time of the incident, 19 people were found to be at the house, including 17 underage individuals "with an extremely large quantity of beer in the home, and several people showed signs of consumed alcohol," Police Chief Paul Sharkey said.

    . . .

    After the collapse, which happened at approximately 9 a.m., [one partier], 19, of Hamilton was airlifted to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City with head injuries. [He] has since been discharged from the medical center.

    The second-story deck at 2005 E. Bay Terrace was fastened to the home only with nails and lacked lag bolts. The bolts would have added additional support to the deck but still might not have prevented the collapse under the weight of eight people, officials said. The home was built in the 1960s, and the deck within a decade of that. The home was grandfathered into current codes.

    . . .
    UPDATE

    Collapsed deck wasn't up to today's standard

    07/26/07

    SHIP BOTTOM A deck that collapsed at a bayside home Tuesday, injuring seven people, would not have passed code if built in recent years, said borough code officials.

    The second-story deck at 2005 E. Bay Terrace was fastened to the home only with nails and lacked a lag bolt, which would have added additional support to the deck but still might not have prevented the collapse under the weight of eight people, said Susan K. DeLuca, an official with the construction and zoning office.

    The home was built in the 1960s, and the deck within a decade of that, and the home was grandfathered into current codes, DeLuca said.

    "Let's just say it's not construction we'd approve of now," she said.

    . . .

    The borough does not do maintenance checks, said DeLuca, but there have been discussions by the Borough Council about enacting a maintenance code. However, there has been no timetable set for doing so.

    An inspection of the property and the deck determined that eight or nine teens standing on one side of the deck was likely too many, but any number of factors could have played into its collapse, DeLuca said.

    "The deck connections pulled away, but what caused that you can't pinpoint," DeLuca said. Heavy rains on Monday could have caused the wooden deck to expand, she noted.

    . . .

    There have been several deck collapses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania recently, including at a seafood restaurant in Cape May County that injured nine earlier this month, and one at a home in Mountain Lakes that injured 23.

    Six people were injured in July 2006, when a second-story deck on an older Point Pleasant Beach rental property detached from the house.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Deck Collapses In The News

    Several injured when deck collapses

    July 8, 2007

    (Oxford) _ A deck in Oxford collapsed Sunday afternoon sending four people to the hospital, including a child.

    It happened Sunday afternoon at a home on Charter Oak Drive. Police say 10-people were on the 6-foot high deck when it gave way. Four were transported to an area hospital and two had serious injuries.

    The Oxford building inspector is investigating to find out what caused the deck to collapse.


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    Default Re: Deck Collapses In The News

    Collapse of balcony in East Vancouver sparks safety concerns

    July 17, 2007

    The City of Vancouver (BC) has ordered an East Vancouver property owner to submit a full engineering report following the collapse of a balcony early Sunday morning.

    A rotten, collapsed balcony was still seen on the E. 5th Avenue building on Monday evening, leaning on another deteriorating deck one floor below.

    Rodrigo Martinez said he was outside with four friends when the deck gave way Sunday morning.

    "Everyone was scared [because] we were just having a party supposed to be good time," he said.

    Two men were injured after the collapse. One was rushed to hospital, suffering a concussion.

    Martinez said since the accident no one from the building has come to inspect the damage or repair it.

    The only response so far was a written warning asking residents to stay off their decks, added Martinez, who doesn't feel safe in his apartment anymore.

    The property owner has 30 days to submit the engineering report.

    CBC News asked a certified independent building inspector to check the structure. Hugh Poole said there are signs of rot and severe damage everywhere.

    "This is a building that is pretty well done," Poole said. "These people should not be living in most of these units."

    Currently, there's no law to require regular inspections or repairs of rental units and it's up to the residents to report problems, according to the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization working on behalf of B.C.'s one million tenants.

    "Where tenants feel there may be a problem, if they call the city and ask for an inspector to look at a property, the city will do that right away," said Martha Lewis, the centre's executive director.


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    Default Re: Deck Collapses In The News

    9 Hurt when Deck Collapses at Cape May County Restaurant

    07 Jul 2007

    Lower Township, NJ -- No serious injuries are reported when a section of a deck area collapses at a crowded seafood restaurant in Cape May County Saturday night.

    Nine people were taken to area hospitals for treatment of bruises, cuts and other minor injuries. But none were admitted and most have already gone home.

    The cause of the collapse at the Crab House restaurant at the Two Mile Inn in Lower Township remains under investigation.

    . . .


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    Default Re: Deck Collapses In The News

    Reading their study, they seem very concerned with rim joist failures, but how common is this sort of failure in relation to ledger separations at their attachment to the the rim joist or other support at the main structure?


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    Default Re: Deck Collapses In The News

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Reading their study, they seem very concerned with rim joist failures, but how common is this sort of failure in relation to ledger separations at their attachment to the the rim joist or other support at the main structure?
    All the ones I've ever heard/seen in the news has been a failure at the ledger, usually either rot due to missing flashing or just separation.

    You can always spot the home inspectors at a party... they're the ones drinking beer on the patio instead of the deck.


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