May 2012 was designated in the United States by the industry body, as National Deck Safety Month. Perhaps we should have something similar in this country.
In the last few years there have been too many tragic incidents where people have been killed and maimed following the failure of these structures.
The cause may be due to improper building practices, age, weather, termite damage or rot. If you are having a Christmas party at home, do you count the number of people having a beer on the veranda ?Perhaps you should. Maybe the veranda was not designed to carry such a great weight.
During a school function held at a Brisbane private home in 2008, a woman died, and many more were injured when a timber veranda collapsed beneath them. The deck was later found to have extensive corrosion where it was joined to the main frame of the 90 year old building.
Some of the victims are suing the home owner, the school, a builder who renovated some of the deck supports seven years prior, and the building inspector who three years earlier gave the all clear to the owners at time of purchase.
Ongoing regular building inspections were recommended by the coroner on this occasion, and also following a more recent tragedy.
In May last year a baby was killed when dropped by her father, when he stumbled on a rotten and termite riddled deck of a rental house near Rockhampton.
The family had repeatedly complained to the real estate company. Both the real estate and the property owner took no action to remedy the problem.