Balcony Inspections Encouraged for Property Owners - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Balcony Inspections Encouraged for Property Owners

 OCEAN CITY, Md.- Town officials are urging property owners to follow a safety inspection checklist for decks and balconies as they raise awareness about the importance of keeping up with inspections.

When John Stump of Virginia and his wife of 30 years checked into their hotel room, it was only a matter of time before he did this.

"I walked on the balcony, and I noticed everything looked pretty new, so of course, you always want to see how strong they [balconies] are," Stump said. " I tried to wiggle it, and it didn't wiggle much."

Stump has worked in construction for 40 years. He has a wealth of experience form working on high-rises and other tall buildings. He has an eye for potential safety hazards.

"Being on the fourth floor, I could see how it was put together on the fifth floor, and I just thought everything was very well done," he said.

Ocean City officials are reminding property owners to have qualified engineers or contractors inspect decks and balconies for split or rotting wood, deteriorated screws, bolts, nails and loose railing.

The reminder comes after the deaths of six Irish students who fell from a collapsed balcony in Berkeley, Calif. Seven people were injured. 

Brandon Murphy, 22, of Philadelphia tells WBOC it is a scary situation to think about.

"It's very, very tragic to hear something that could have been controlled so easily," Murphy said. "I just wish that everybody takes the proper precautions at any hotel they're staying at."

Town officials encourage citizens who believe their deck is unsafe or in need of repair, to please contact the Office of Building Inspection at 410.289.8855 or call a qualified licensed general contractor for further evaluation and repairs.
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