From the Montreal Gazette, “Two men are dead and another is in critical condition after falling off a residential balcony early Sunday morning (December 6, 2015) in Lachine. Around 2 a.m, the three men fell off the third-floor balcony on Victoria St., near the corner of 33rd Ave. A man in his 40s died at the scene, and the two others were brought to hospital in critical condition. One of the men, 24, died in hospital. The other, 26, remains in critical condition. The circumstances of the incident are unknown, but it looks like the rail of the balcony gave out, said Montreal police spokesperson André Leclerc.”
According to CTV News Montreal, “Gilles Corbeil said he has been to the apartment before, and warned his son not to trust the balcony. ‘I’ve mentioned it so many times not to go out and play around out there because to me it wasn’t safe,’ said Corbeil. ‘The railings are loose; the floor if you go out there yourself you jump like that and everything shakes.’
On Sunday inspectors began checking the other balconies on the building, which was constructed in the 1960s. Some doors to the balconies with wooden beams were barred to prevent people from going outside. They have also put up notices warning residents that the balconies are unsafe.
City inspectors are also checking other buildings in the area to see if those balconies are structurally sound.”
If you have a balcony, here are some points to check on to ensure it’s safe:
- Check for signs of rust.
- Pull the rails gently to see if there is any movement. Look for any rotting or decay for each of the rails.
- Assess the space between the rails. It should be no bigger than four inches.
- Check the height of guardrail. Make sure the guardrail is high enough so you can lean over without risk.
If your balcony shows some problems after your inspection, get in touch with a professional balcony maintenance contractor to resolve these. In the Los Angeles area, Westside Company offers services for balcony maintenance. Call us at 310 994 4626 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about professional balcony inspections and make sure your deck is up to standards.