Emerald Isle cautions homeowners, renters about deck dangers

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EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Nearly twenty people were sent to the hospital in July after a deck collapsed in Emerald Isle. Now, the town is making sure people know the danger of decks.

A family visiting from Virginia was standing on a second story deck over the July 4th weekend when the structure gave out. Dozens of people were sent to the ER.

An inspection found rusted nails were to blame for the incident.

As the family continues to recover, the town wants to make sure everyone stays safe.

It’s often the last thing you think about when you’re enjoying the beautiful views of the Crystal Coast from your deck. It’s safety. But the Town of Emerald Isle now suggests that renters and owners take another look at that construction.

“I think we all got an eye opener when the deck collapsed nearby and we all have the same issues with the corrosion of the hardware that was used in years past,” explained Jim Osika, civil engineer.

He says he noticed some serious issues with his deck when he took a look underneath. Rusted nails were his tell-tale sign that something needed to be done.

“I never considered it either,” said Osika. “I just assumed that everything was okay. It’s just a normal thing. With renters, they don’t consider it. They come down to have fun. They look at the water and Mother Nature, but they just don’t pay attention to what they’re standing on.”

Now Osika is working with his neighbors to make sure their decks are secure too. Some problems aren’t as obvious as rusted nails and inspections are not required for rentals.

During some requested town inspections, issues have been found. Luckily, these problems were caught early before anyone was hurt.

“For the most part, none of them (decks) have been in a condition that is an eminent safety threat,” said Osika. “It’s more along the lines of doing maintenance now will help avoid any issues later.”

Overall, the town wants everyone to be proactive about their safety so they can simply enjoy their vacation or time on the coast.

If you have any questions about the construction of your deck or it’s safety, the Town of Emerald Isle says you should contact your rental company or the town directly and they’ll send someone out to inspect it.

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