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Building Inspectors Extra Busy After Deadly Berkeley Deck Collapse

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- Building inspectors are extra busy following a deadly deck collapse in Berkeley that sent 13 people plunging to the ground.

Matt Cantor inspects buildings for a living, and this week, he says it's all about the balconies.

"They're just scared.  They're afraid that that will happen to them," Cantor said.

Building inspectors across the Bay Area say since the fatal balcony collapse that landlords have been frantically calling for inspections, and as the Berkeley collapse demonstrated, newer construction isn't always better.

"In some ways, I worry about newer construction, because our methods are affected by monetary influence," Cantor said.

Cantor says the cantilevered balconies, like the one that collapsed in Berkeley are the ones that concern him the most because they protrude from the building, and are susceptible to dry rot.

"You should be seeing some sort of ventilation to that structure underneath," Cantor said.

Cantor recommends decks get inspected every five years, but there is no industry standard.

"What you want to do is get on top of it, get underneath, look around the edges and see how it's put together," Cantor said.

75-percent of deck collapses result in serious injuries or death.

"Decks and supporting structures like this are failing fairly frequently.  The reason this made it into the news is that a whole bunch of kids died," Cantor said.


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