Home inspector gives safety tips following fatal deck collapse Wednesday

Local News

HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — Wednesday morning, a 3-year-old child died after a deck collapsed. It was a tragic accident that has people concerned it could happen to them. CBS 42 Reporter Malique Rankin spoke with a home inspector to ensure you keep your family safe.

Unsurprisingly, more decks collapse in the summer months than the rest of the year combined. Jim Waddell is a home inspector with A B Inspections. He says 90% of decks that collapse occur for the same reason.

“Most the time when a deck falls or collapse, it’s due to poor attachment of the deck to the house,” Waddell said.

Decks can also come crashing down if they aren’t up to code.

“A lot of the older decks will only have 4″ square posts, which they have found to be not as strong,” Waddell said. “And that’s why the latest code is 6″ square posts.”

The incident has homeowners thinking twice on the last time they got their decks inspected.

“Because of this story, I want to contact the company that did the install and have them come back out and take a look at it,” Alan Farmer, a Helena homeowner, said.

Alan Farmer has lived in his home for 15 years and has kids and grandkids of all ages. 

“You know we’re out there with the family barbecuing or playing with the kids in the backyard,” Farmer said. “So it’s [used] daily this time of year.”

Farmer says seeing the worst case scenario on the news Wednesday, he couldn’t imagine going through such loss himself. He takes his deck safety seriously

“People take for granted that it’s a structure added to their home and it’s going to last the life of the home and it doesn’t,” Farmer said.

You should be getting your deck inspected and treated once a year. An inspection can cost about $150.00.

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