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Deck and Balcony Safety in Your Home


Always Use Licensed Tradesmen for Maintenance and Repairs

In Australia, and particularly in Newcastle and the Hunter region with our wonderful weather and lifestyle, we make great use of our outdoor spaces. Many of us have lovely decks and balconies for entertaining and relaxing. But deaths have occurred in Australia from collapsing decks. We should never take for granted that our decks and balconies are safe. No-one wants to put family or friends at risk in their home due to run-down or poorly built structures.

Any new decks, railings, balustrades and balconies you build must meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and all the relevant Australian standards. The Code requires decks and balconies to be able to withstand the pressures typically placed on them.

  1. Regular inspection and maintenance is essential. Some of this you can do yourself. You should check the handrails, balustrades, supporting beams and joists of your deck by using a pushing and pulling action. Use light pressure before increasing the force applied. It is recommended you get an expert builder, building inspector or structural engineer in to diagnose any suspected problems.  For timber decks, you can speak to a qualified carpenter for advice.
  2. If you are building a new home, you should make sure you have the required building and planning approvals. If you are renovating or adding a deck you can check with your local council if you don’t have copies of those documents.
  3. Engage licensed tradespeople to undertake any building work. Check their licence with Fair Trading 

For more information about deck and balcony safety, you can visit the NSW Department of Fair Trading’s website and read their Deck and Balcony Safety Guide.

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November 19, 2014 |

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