Most deck failures occur because of weak connections to the house, and the past week's news included a rash of deck failures around the nation as families and friends gathered for outdoor events.
Six people were hurt in Birmingham, Alabama (the photo at left shows a detached band joist at the house wall).
On Long Island, five people cooking on a balcony attached to a brick building were hurt when the balcony failed. Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins attributed the collapse to a "mixture of structural failure as well as the live load on the balcony -- five people, a barbecue, it was probably too much for the elderly balcony."
Finally, in Wildwood, Missouri, a deck collapse at a condominium has triggered an investigation by building inspectors, who plan to inspect all 60 decks at the complex.