Are you considering adding a deck to your home? It’s a stylish way to create space for outdoor entertaining and relaxation. However, decks can also be dangerous if not properly maintained or built. In this post, we’ll discuss some important deck safety features you don’t want to skip when building or updating your deck.
Handrails are one of the most important safety features on a deck. They provide support and stability for people walking on the deck, especially for those who may have mobility issues or are prone to falling. Deck railings should be installed on all decks taller than 30 inches above the ground. They should also be at least 36 inches tall and be able to withstand a load of 200 pounds.
Proper lighting is essential for deck safety, especially for decks that are used at night. Adequate lighting will help prevent accidents by illuminating the deck’s surface and steps, making them easier to see. You can install deck lights, post lights, or even solar-powered lights to ensure your deck is well-lit.
Stairway lighting is especially important for decks that have steps. Stairway lighting should be installed on both the treads and risers of the stairs so people can see where they are going. This will help prevent falls and injuries.
A non-slip surface is crucial for deck safety. A slippery deck can be dangerous and cause accidents. You can add a non-slip surface to your deck with textured paint or apply a non-slip coating. You can also use non-slip decking materials such as composite or wood that have a non-slip surface.
Safe Railing Spacing
Railing spacing is an important safety feature on a deck. The spacing between the balusters, or the vertical posts, should be no more than 4 inches apart to prevent children and pets from falling through. This is a requirement by most building codes.
Child Safety Gates
If you have young children or pets, a child safety gate is a must-have. A child safety gate will prevent children and pets from accessing the deck without adult supervision. This is especially important for decks that are elevated or have a dangerous drop-off.
Other safety features you cannot ignore include:
- Fire Safety – Decks should be designed and built with fire safety in mind. This can include using fire-resistant materials and providing adequate clearance between the deck and any potential sources of ignition.
- Railing toppers – Railing toppers, also known as safety caps, can be added to the top of the balusters to prevent children and pets from climbing over the railing.
- Privacy Screens – Privacy screens can be added to the deck to provide privacy and shelter from the wind.
- Skirting – Skirting can be added to the deck to hide the area underneath the deck and prevent debris and animals from entering the area.
Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your deck safe. You must check for rot, decay, and other damage, and ensure all hardware and fasteners are secure. It’s also a good idea to periodically check for loose boards and replace them if necessary.
Why Hire a Professional Deck Contractor
- A professional deck contractor has the experience and knowledge to design and build a safe, and functional deck that meets all building codes and regulations.
- They use the proper materials and techniques to ensure your deck is structurally sound and will last for many years.
- They can provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the project, including materials and labor, so there are no surprises down the line.
- They can offer a warranty on their work, providing added peace of mind and protection for the homeowner.
- They will take care of the clean-up and haul away any debris, saving you the hassle of dealing with it yourself.
- They can also provide ongoing maintenance and repair services to keep your deck in good condition over time.
- A professional deck contractor can also provide a custom design solution for your specific needs and budget, making the most out of your outdoor space.
PA Custom Deck Builders Build to Safety Standards
The deck safety features above are a great way to ensure your safety as you enjoy your outdoor living space. Do you need to add safety features to your existing deck? Maybe you want a new custom deck installation with all the safety features we’ve discussed. PA Custom Deck Builders has years of experience constructing safe and up-to-code custom decks for homeowners. Call us today for a free estimate.