Posts Tagged ‘wood deck safety’

Wood Deck Safety

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Tips for Safe Outdoor Living

Summer, the season of outdoor living, is the time we often gather with friends and family outside to enjoy activities on our decks, patios and yards. We tend to entertain more often and with more people when the weather is warm. Moving our lives outside usually means frequent trips inside and out with food, beverages and other needed items. How safe is your path? With an estimated 40 million wooden decks and porches on our homes exposed to the deleterious effects of the elements 365 days a year, older structures should be checked for possible safety hazards that may cause slips, trips and falls.

● Have the stair treads become loose, cracked or split?
● Are the handrails sturdy and located on both sides of the stairs?
● Are safety rails and balustrades secure and spaced properly?
● Do you have “landing areas” near your doors to set down the items you’re carrying while you open the door?

According to the National Association of Home Builders, outdoor wooden structures such as decks and porches have a usual life span of 10-15 years. If your deck or porch is that old, have it checked by a qualified inspector or contractor to make sure the entire structure is safe for you and your guests.

Visiting friends may not be familiar with the “lay of the land” at your house. Take a walk around your yard and check for other possible problem areas. Driveways, walkways and patio surfaces should be level and even. Cracked or lifted concrete can cause someone to trip or fall. Although we enjoy longer daylight hours, walkways and steps should be well illuminated for evening use. Are there any level changes in your yard where you may have one or two steps down? These should be easy to notice by using contrasting materials or gates. Adding a short handrail can help visitors notice a level change.

Summer is a favorite time on our decks. Let’s make it as safe as we can for our family and visiting friends. For help doing your home safety assessment or any questions please call us at (609) 654-2329 or email at