A Look at Deck Safety After Collapse in Forest - WSET.com - ABC13

A Look at Deck Safety After Collapse in Forest


Reporter: Sally Delta

Forest, VA - Several people are recovering Saturday night after a deck collapsed in Forest Friday night. It happened at Westwood apartments off Waterlick Road.

Some people who live at Westwood say that apartment appears to now be unlivable. Caution tape covers not only the back deck but the front door as well.

The deck has completely collapsed and now barely hangs outside. David Peirce lives in the apartment next to where the accident happened.

"There's police tape cross crossed and then a sign that says do not enter and more detail it just said this area is unsafe," said Peirce.

A volunteer with the Campbell County fire department says six people were sent to the hospital and several more were injured.

"I mean if you're planning a barbecue and you're going to have a lot of people on your deck, it might be good idea to get it checked out," said Peirce.

Rodney Seay is a deck expert who works for the Southern Porch Company. He's built hundreds of decks and says the amount of people on the deck shouldn't matter.

"If a deck is built to building code usually there shouldn't be a limit to the number of people that can be on the deck," he said.

How about the possibility of the wood rotting out? Seay says that's very rare.

"Usually it's from improper fastening at the deck ledger board."

Seay says every deck has different rules, but at the very least, there should be one bolt between every other board. They should also have a thicker rail post along with the smaller balusters.

"This is what really gives the railing support," said Seay as he pointed to the sturdy thick board.

He also says the deck shouldn't wiggle at all.

There is still no official word on what caused the deck to collapse last night. But we are told a building inspector is now investigating.

Get a porch safety check list from the Southern Porch Company.

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