Balconies offer a wonderful outdoor space for relaxation and entertainment can also be dangerous if not properly maintained. In recent years, balcony collapses have become devastating for many families, leaving a trail of destruction and heartbreak in their wake. The human cost of balcony collapses cannot be underestimated, as survivors and families struggle to cope with the physical and emotional aftermath.
The state of California has taken steps to address this issue, passing two essential bills – SB326 and SB271 – aimed at preventing balcony collapses and improving public safety. SB326 requires that all exterior elevated elements of buildings with three or more multi-family residential units, including balconies, be inspected every six years. SB271 requires that balconies and other elevated elements be constructed with corrosion-resistant materials and that contractors report any damage to the building department.
These bills represent an important step forward in protecting the public from the devastating consequences of balcony collapses. But what are these consequences, and why are these bills so important?
First and foremost, balcony collapses can cause serious physical injury and even death. Survivors of balcony collapses have reported broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. These injuries can have lifelong consequences, requiring ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and support.
But the impact of balcony collapses extends far beyond the physical injuries. These tragedies can also take a severe emotional toll on survivors and families. The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one, or the experience of narrowly escaping a deadly collapse, can cause profound trauma and psychological distress. Survivors may struggle with guilt, anxiety, and depression, while families may struggle to come to terms with their loss and the financial burden that comes with it.
One such survivor is Alex, who narrowly escaped a balcony collapse in Berkeley in 2015. Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, Alex described the psychological impact of the incident: “I don’t have words to describe it… It’s so much bigger than a physical injury. It changes who you are.”
Another survivor, Raja, was injured in a balcony collapse in San Francisco in 2019. In an interview with ABC7 News, Raja described his ongoing physical and emotional struggles: “I’m in pain every day… And it’s not just the physical pain, it’s the mental anguish that comes with it. You can’t put a price on that.”
These stories are just a few examples of the devastating impact that balcony collapses can have on individuals and communities. But the good news is that these tragedies are preventable. By complying with the new laws and investing in regular balcony inspections, property owners and contractors can help ensure that these accidents do not happen in the future.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that the human cost of balcony collapses is not just a matter of statistics or headlines. It is a deeply personal and emotional issue that affects real people and families. By taking steps to prevent future balcony collapses, we can honor the memory of those who have been lost and protect the safety of our communities. From preventing any of these things to occur you can contact our company EEEadvisor and we even provide a free assessment to see if you need to move forward with an evaluation.