The unofficial start of summer has begun and that means grilling out, entertaining and socializing, and that often happens on a backyard deck.
But oftentimes decks are older and not properly maintained, making injuries a real possibility. The North American Deck and Railing Safety Association (NADRA) has declared May as Deck Safety Month and has launched a national video campaign to promote deck safety awareness in an effort to save lives and prevent injuries.
"Our number one priority to the public is to ensure that the decks they and their families enjoy are safe. NADRA takes this responsibility seriously, and has created campaigns and education programs and certifications for home inspectors, code officials, engineers, architects, builders, distributors, lumberyards and manufacturers to improve proper installation practices along with checklists and safety awareness information for consumers to follow," said Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of NADRA.
The video teaches consumers about regular maintenance and inspection, and knowing the limits of the deck structure. Restoring an existing deck is an eco-friendly way to save and reuse materials, altho some people opt to build new decks using sustainable materials.
The number of deck failures and resulting injuries has been increasing at an alarming rate, with 40 million decks in the United States are over 20 years old, so it's crucial for homeowners to check their decks.
"I think NADRA drives home the message that decks don't last forever, they need to be maintained, and they need to be inspected. As we turn to our decks for outdoor living, we must be aware of the hazards that can be created...and avoided." Says Glenn Mathewson, NADRA's technical advisor and master code professional.