Disturbing Video Sparks Deck Safety Concern

Published 02/25 2014 09:42PM

Updated 02/25 2014 09:48PM

A video we aired on Eyewitness news caught a lot of attention after a deck collapsed in New Albany, Indiana. More than twenty family members fell fifteen feet to the ground. Now, that fall raises the question - how safe is your deck? Professional, John Johnson, shares tips to help keep this from happening to you.

The footage is shocking of a family posing for a picture. The footage turns terrifying in just seconds. The rare video of a deck collapsing in New Albany, Indiana sparks concern around the Tristate. It's raising questions about the deck in your back yard, and how safe it really is.

"As soon as I saw it, I knew something was unusual," says John Johnson. Johnson is the President of Superior Services Deck and Fencing. Johnson says he saw the video and he was stunned. "It looks like a problem with connectors. They didn't use the right connectors. The connectors failed," says Johnson.

For decades, Johnson has built and inspected decks, helping to prevent your back yard deck from turning into a backyard nightmare. "A lot of decks on the back of people's houses are fifteen, twenty years old, that have long passed their natural life. They should be tore down," says Johnson.

Johnson says every five to ten years, home owners should get their deck inspected by a professional. Johnson says it must be a professional who knows what to look for. "You'll notice the railings. When you put your hands on them, are they lose, do they have any wobble in them."

The seasoned professional can spot problems, yards away. "The bench up there is not in code. I would assume that latus work up there is definitely not in code. That looks like it's too wide. The spindles are too wide. From here I can see that," Johnson says.

It's not illegal to build your own deck in the city limits if you have a permit, but Johnson says a DIY project could mean danger. "That's probably why you should hire a professional deck builder, because I don't know too many home owners who actually know all of the International Residential Codes Guide."

He says the Residential Codes Guide, is what the professionals must follow, so this doesn't happen to you. Johnson says it only costs about twenty-five dollars to have a professional inspect your deck.

The number for Superior Services Deck and Fencing is 812-604-3651



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