Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects, is warning anyone planning to hold a New Year’s Eve function which will see a crowd of people occupying their balcony or deck, should check that it is safe and not in danger of collapse.
The dinner or party where people gather on the balcony for a drink or a barbeque can be a high risk activity.
Archicentre says its statistics show that approximately 6% of Australian homes have a timber balcony or deck and that about 2% of these are potentially fatal.
Mr Robert Caulfield, Managing Director of Archicentre said these figures indicate that around 8,000 balconies in Australia could be life threatening and there is a need for people to inspect their decks and balconies for rotting timbers and rusty corroding steel fittings which could lead to life threatening balcony collapses.
“We are also urging prospective home buyers who are contemplating purchasing a home with a balcony or deck to have it professionally inspected before making an offer to purchase. In recent years, balcony collapses have occurred where decks that had not been used for years were subjected to heavy crowd loads when the new owners held house warmingparties,” Mr Caulfield said.
Archicentre has information available on their website on How to look out for a Balcony Collapse at