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Deck collapse has many wondering about deck safety

Published On: Jul 09 2014 09:05:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 10 2014 04:53:23 AM CDT

Is your deck safe?

PENN FOREST TWP., Pa. -

Is your deck safe?

That's the question many are asking after a deck collapsed Tuesday during a child's party in Carbon County, sending multiple people to the hospital.

"I looked to make sure the bolts were secured to the deck and to the house," Burke Loxley said as he pointed underneath his two story deck.

Less than 24 hours after a nearby deck collapse, Loxley made sure his favorite Towamensing Trails family gathering spot was safe and up to code.

"I'm not a carpenter so I may have a professional look to be sure," Loxley said.

Tuesday night six people including several kids were taken to the hospital after a two story deck collapsed in the Penn Forest Township community.

The Penn Forest Township Fire Chief said a nail, not bolts or screws is what held the deck to the home.

He says it doesn't meet code and is out of date.

The home, built back in 2004, hasn't had its deck inspected. Former Penn Forest Township Supervisor Alan Katz says that isn't rare and many decks built then wouldn't pass inspection today.

Matt Breyer is on the board of directors with the North American Deck and Railing Association.

"Generally speaking I recommend checking your deck once a year," he said.

Breyer says check under your deck..making sure everything is tied together properly, with no exposed nails, screws, warped or twisted wood, and that rails are sturdy.

"A deck inspection can take anywhere from 10 minutes all the way to an hour, hour and a half to really look over everything and make sure nothing catches you off guard," he added.