May is Deck Safety Month - Have You Made It A Priority?

Posted 22 May 2013 10:50 AM by Universal Forest Products

Deck Safety Month and a good time to inspect decks for the upcoming deck season. A thorough inspection is important: More than 40 million decks in the U.S. are older than 20 years, and deck failures and injuries are increasing. Take advantage of Deck Safety Month by using the following tips and resources to carefully inspect your deck and make it hazard-free. When inspecting, take time to check:

Railings and balusters

  • Are balusters or railings rotted or corroded? Do they need replacing? If so, you might consider a complete swap with durable and long-lasting composite or metal materials such as those from Deckorators.
  • Are fasteners corroded and need replacement? Are any fasteners loose and need securing?
  • Are balusters spaced no more than 4” apart to keep kids and pets safe? Are railings high enough for code, 36” or 42” high, depending on location? If not, make the necessary updates. These guidelines are especially important for decks that are elevated.

Stairways

  • Consider adding recessed lighting to stairs to improve nighttime visibility and safety.
  • If stairs are lit, are the lights working properly? Is the wiring secure and in good condition?
  • Consider secondary handrails, particularly for small children and adults who may need more assistance.

Decking

  • Are the deck boards, posts and joists secure and in good condition? If decking needs replacing, consider a long-lasting and low-maintenance composite decking such as Latitudes
  • Is there debris, dirt or mildew that can create a slip hazard? The deck may need cleaning or refinishing.

Grills and fire pits

  • Is there enough space between open-flame sources and the home? Do grills and pits rest on safe, secure surfaces such as non-flammable pads or deck stones?

NADRA recommends that homeowners have their decks inspected annually.  See more detailed inspection tips at the NADRA website. Be safe out there!

 

 

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