Building inspectors in North Carolina are looking into what exactly caused an Ocean Isle Beach house deck to collapse in a recent accident. According to the Gant Daily, more than 20 people were injured in this collapse.
Inspectors are looking at potential structure failures at the home, which is privately rented. it's located at 83 Ocean Isle West Boulevard. The emergency services director for Brunswick County, Anthony Marzanom, says that there were 25 people outside on the deck when it dropped down onto a concrete patio on the ground below. Luckily, none of the injuries are life-threatening, but there were 21 lacerations, a bone and hip fracture and a spinal injury. All of the victims were transported to various local hospitals for treatment.
Our Ocean Isle Beach premise liability attorneys understand that the home was constructed back in 2003 and was last inspected in 2012. Unfortunately, that inspection wasn't enough to prevent this tragedy. And what's even more unfortunate is that this is the second accident of this kind to happen in the state within the last month. The other one happened at a home in Cherryville. In that accident, the deck also collapsed when there were 25 people on it. According to inspectors, that deck was more than 25-years-old and was no longer able to carry such weight.
Although these types of accidents are most commonly associated with older, multi-story apartment buildings with wooden porches, they can happen just about anywhere at any time. These accidents are also more common during the warm, summer months. Sadly , these structures are often improperly constructed, poorly designed and sometimes even over-crowded. These factors are common causes that lead to falls and collapses. And it's these kinds of accidents can result in broken bones, closed head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and even fatalities.
The conditions of the property and its facilities are the responsibility of the owner. They have the responsibility to maintain safe premises and they can be held liable when accidents result in serious injuries or death.
According to recent studies, there are more than 50,000 million wooden decks in the United States that are over 25-years-old.
Deck, Porch and Balcony Collapse Prevention:
-Make sure that the maximum capacity for these areas are posted and obeyed.
-Frequently inspect for rusted or missing fasteners and/or nails. Replace when needed.
-Keep an eye out for buckled or loose boards and/or splinters. Uneven stair treads and discolored areas are also a sign of deterioration.
-Make sure the porch does not sway or move in any direction.
-If your porch is older that 15-years, it's important that you have it inspected by a professional.
-Keep the area clear of sitting materials. Debris and other objects can speed the process of decay.
-Consider the weight of your porch or deck's furniture. Move it when it's not being used to help eliminate wear or stress.
-Make sure none of the wood is rotted or cracked. When noticed, you want to replace immediately.
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