How to Participate in Deck Safety Month®
(Article by Deckorators, Chris Camfferman. First appeared in the May issue of Building Products Digest and The Merchant)
3 ways you can do your part to promote safe outdoor living (and potentially expand sales)
May’s warming weather allows homeowners around the country to start spending extended time outside on their decks. Unfortunately, large numbers of those decks are poorly maintained or unsafe — making the structures vulnerable to collapse and putting homeowners and their guests at risk of serious injury.
Deck failures and resulting injuries can be avoided through regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks, and proper installation of new decks. May is national Deck Safety Month®, and represents a perfect opportunity for dealers to do their part to promote safe outdoor living while potentially growing deck sales.
Following are three ways dealers can participate in Deck Safety Month®:
Serve as a safety resource
The nationwide need for proper inspection, maintenance and remodeling of existing decks has never been greater. According to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), an estimated 50 percent of the 40 million residential decks and 10 million commercial decks in the United States are more than 25 years old.
During Deck Safety Month®, dealers can commit to becoming a true safety resource for customers. Make safety a main talking point with contractors and consumers, and be more intentional about making them aware of advancements in building codes and products. Stock the latest deck components — such as decking, railing and balusters — that can bring structures up to code while adding value to homes.
Get the word out
NADRA declared May 2006 the first Deck Safety Month® and is dedicated to raising awareness for necessary deck safety measures. The organization offers members a Deck Safety Month® toolkit featuring a variety of resources dealers can use to promote making decks safe and code compliant.
Promotional materials featured in past Deck Safety Month® toolkits include inspection checklists, a customizable press release template, a customizable video and a social media content calendar. (Visit www.nadra.org for the latest information on promotional tools available for 2016, including a new mobile application for evaluating decks.) Utilize such resources to increase deck safety awareness among customers and show your company cares about the community.
Offer deck inspections
NADRA offers tools to help homeowners perform their own deck checks, but deck inspection demands professional training, know-how and experience. When looking to identify parts of a deck that require attention, there is no substitute for a professional inspection.
During Deck Safety Month®, consider having select staff members undergo training to achieve professional certification in deck inspection. (NADRA offers inspection training and certification for members.) Offering homeowners deck inspection services not only helps ensure that decks are safe and code compliant, it could also lead to new sales opportunities.
This Deck Safety Month®, dealers have an opportunity to help prevent accidents and injuries associated with improperly maintained or unsafe decks. Consider these three Deck Safety Month® ideas — and come up with creative initiatives of your own — to raise awareness for deck safety and possibly tap into a market of decks that need repair or replacement.
About the Author
Chris Camfferman is the director of category marketing for Universal Forest Products, Inc. Deckorators is a brand of Universal Forest Products and the industry leader in decking, railing, balusters, post caps, lighting and more. For more information on Deckorators, visit deckorators.com.