Updated: Apr 5
If you're a homeowner in California with a deck, it's important to be aware of the SB 326 California Law, which outlines deck safety requirements for multi-family residential buildings. This law, signed in 2018, is designed to prevent tragic accidents like balcony collapses and ensure the safety of residents.
Here's what you need to know about SB 326 and the deck requirements it outlines.
What is SB 326?
SB 326 is a California law that requires multi-family residential buildings with three or more units and exterior elevated elements, such as balconies, decks, and walkways, to undergo periodic inspections by a licensed professional engineer or architect. The law was introduced in response to a balcony collapse in Berkeley in 2015 that resulted in the deaths of six people.
What are the Requirements?
Under SB 326, multi-family residential buildings with exterior elevated elements must have a licensed professional engineer or architect inspect the elements to determine if they meet certain safety requirements. Specifically, the inspector must determine if the elements are constructed in compliance with the building code, and if the elements are in a safe condition for continued use.
If the inspector determines that the elements do not meet the safety requirements, the building owner is required to take corrective action within 120 days of receiving the inspection report. Additionally, the building owner must provide a copy of the inspection report to the local code enforcement agency upon request.
What is the Deadline?
SB 326 went into effect on January 1, 2020. Building owners were required to complete the first inspection of exterior elevated elements by January 1, 2025, and subsequent inspections must be conducted at least once every nine years.
What are the Consequences of Non-Compliance?
If building owners fail to comply with SB 326, they may face penalties and fines. Additionally, if a deck or other exterior elevated element collapses and causes injury or death due to neglect, the building owner may be held liable.
How to Prepare?
If you're a homeowner in California with a deck or other exterior elevated element, you should start preparing for the required inspections. Here are some steps you can take:
· Identify all exterior elevated elements in your building, including decks and balconies.
· Research and hire a licensed professional engineer or architect to conduct the inspection.
· Schedule the inspection and ensure that tenants are informed in advance.
· Review the inspection report and make any necessary repairs or replacements within the specified timeframe.
· Maintain records of the inspection and any repairs or replacements made for at least nine years.
SB 326 is an important law that outlines deck safety requirements for multi-family residential buildings in California. Building owners have a responsibility to comply with this law to ensure the safety of their residents. By understanding the requirements and taking the necessary steps to prepare for inspections, building owners can comply with the law and help prevent tragic accidents. If you're a homeowner in California, make sure to prioritize the safety of your residents and stay up-to-date on the latest regulations.
EEEAdvisor works to educate clients on these standards and the regulations outlined in SB721 and SB326 in order to assist customers in meeting the compliance deadline and ensure the security of their facilities. Omid Ghanadiof is a co-founder of the engineering inspections company EEEadvisor Engineering, based in California. EEEadvisor Engineers assists homeowners associations (HOAs) and landlords in adhering to state regulations for balcony inspections, as per Senate Bills 721 and 326. For further information, get in touch with us at (805) 312-8513 or http://info@EEEadvisor.com.