22 September 2014
Summer is the season for dinners or parties where a crowd of people gather on a balcony for a drink or a barbeque, but an unsafe balcony collapsing because of the sheer weight of the number of people is a serious risk.
"Balconies are usually used by a small family group of three to four people, however, when fifteen to twenty adults or more gather on a balcony the stress on the structure often reaches breaking point and the balcony collapses causing serious injury. The danger is heightened when these balconies or decks are several metres off the ground. Dangerous balconies can also be deadly for anyone who may be standing under them during a collapse.
"There have been a number of balcony and deck collapses in the past few years with injuries and even deaths of people involved, and each event has left a potential trail of expensive legal and medical expenses for home owners and people involved.
"These cases have highlighted the need for home owners to have regular checks on the safety of their decks or balconies to avoid injury and potentially costly court cases."
"Anyone with a balcony or raised deck should check it out carefully for safety, including an inspection for rotting timbers, shaky hand rails and balustrades, corroded bolts and brackets, rust stains and cracking in concrete balconies".