Deck Safety: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Family and Guests Safe


As the warmer months approach, our decks become the heart of entertainment, relaxation, and family gatherings. However, the safety of these outdoor spaces is paramount to ensuring that precious moments spent with family and guests remain joyous and accident-free. At Decks by RTC, we’re committed to not just building and designing your dream deck, but also ensuring it’s a safe haven for everyone. Here’s what you need to know to keep your deck secure and your loved ones safe.

Regular Inspections Are Key

Routine checks can prevent accidents before they happen. Look out for signs of wear and tear such as loose boards, protruding nails, or weakened railings. Don’t overlook the importance of inspecting the structural supports and the connections to the house. It’s advisable to have a professional deck inspection annually to catch any issues that might not be visible to the untrained eye.


  • Checking for splintered or warped boards
  • Ensuring all nails and screws are flush and secure
  • Verifying that support posts and beams are not rotting
  • Check the flashing between the deck and the house to avoid water damage

Wood deck with a board coming up


Material Matters

The longevity and safety of your deck significantly depend on the materials used. Whether you opt for traditional wood or composite decking, ensure that the materials are of high quality and suitable for your climate. Wood decks require regular sealing and staining to prevent rot and decay, while composite materials offer durability with less maintenance but should still be checked for wear and tear.


  • Using pressure-treated wood for moisture resistance
  • Opting for composite decking for a lower maintenance solution
  • Selecting stainless steel hardware for corrosion resistance

Beautiful composite deck with nice furniture on it


Mind the Railings

Deck railings are not just an aesthetic feature; they are a critical safety element, especially for decks that are off the ground. Ensure that your railings are sturdy and meet local building codes, which typically require that they be at least 36 inches high for residential decks. Regularly push on the railings to test their strength and immediately repair any that feel loose.


  • Installing railings with less than a 4-inch gap between balusters to prevent children from slipping through
  • Using glass or cable railings for a combination of safety and style
  • Regularly tightening loose railings and balusters

Gorgeous deck with railings overlooking a beautiful landscape


Lighting and Visibility

Adequate lighting enhances the safety and ambiance of your deck. Install lights on stairs and around the perimeter to prevent trips and falls. Consider solar-powered lights for an energy-efficient option that ensures your deck is well-lit, even during a power outage.


  • Solar post cap lights for ambient lighting
  • LED stair lights for step visibility
  • Motion sensor lights for security and convenience

Trex deck with railings and lighting


Safe Deck Furniture

Choose deck furniture that is stable and appropriate for outdoor use. Avoid chairs that tip over easily or tables with sharp edges. Arrange your furniture to ensure a clear pathway for movement around the deck to prevent accidental trips.


  • Heavy-duty furniture that won’t easily tip or blow away
  • Rounded-edge tables to minimize injury risks
  • Non-slip mats under rugs and mats to prevent slipping

Deck with safe furniture, overlooking a lake

Educate Your Family and Guests

Educate your family and guests about deck safety. Make sure everyone, especially children, knows what areas might be off-limits and the importance of not leaning on railings.


  • Posting signs or reminders about maximum occupancy
  • Reminding guests not to sit on railings
  • Designating safe play areas for children away from deck edges

Husky and little kid hanging out on a deck

Plan for the Unexpected

Have a first aid kit accessible near your deck and consider installing a fire extinguisher for outdoor cooking areas. It’s better to be prepared for any mishaps that may occur.


  • Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit in a known, easily accessible location
  • Installing a fire extinguisher near the grill or fire pit
  • Having a plan in place for severe weather or emergencies

Father grilling on a nice deck


Enjoy Your Deck in 2024

Your deck can provide years of enjoyment and make countless memories with the right safety measures in place. At Decks by RTC, safety is our top priority, and we’re here to help ensure your deck is not only beautiful but also secure. Contact us for more tips or to schedule a deck safety inspection.

Filed under: Wood Decks

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