City of Boston reports Boston, MA: With summer upon us, the Inspectional Services Department would like to remind Boston residents to use precaution and common sense when utilizing decks, porches, balconies, and rooftops for any outdoor activity. These structures should be used for their intended purposes while keeping in mind their allotted capacity.

The following are useful safety tips to keep in mind when occupying outdoor structures:

  1. When using a deck, maintain situational awareness for the load the deck is carrying. Although decks are constructed to withstand a reasonable load, overloading the intended capacity may compromise the structure.
  2. Always consider the number of people along with outdoor furniture to assess if a structure is being utilized properly.
  3. Due to normal wear and tear these structures may also be in need of maintenance.
  4. Take the age of a structure into consideration. Homeowners should be aware of the structural integrity of their porches and decks. Older decks are built to the standards of earlier editions of the state building and zoning codes and may need to be updated.

Remember before making any necessary repairs, property owners must hire a licensed contractor and secure all required permits before work can proceed.