May is Deck Safety Month!® Poorly constructed deck railings can cause accidents, injury and death. 99% of wood deck railings are built on site and, aside from the occasional visual inspection, are not tested for quality or safety. Some deck railings aren’t even given a visual inspection. Even the wood railing products you find in the Box Store aren’t rated!
Decking railing quality tests are important. Fence Quarter’s deck railing construction is simple, strong, and with help from the optional FAIL NOT hardware, it’s nearly fool proof. Here’s what you need to know.
When It Comes to Safety, Our Products Go Above and Beyond
Fence Quarter’s wood deck railing inserts are tested by an International third party to meet code compliance, but recently we took testing a step farther. We tried to break our own product.
We hired a company that tests deck railing systems of many kinds, from glass to metals to composites. Wooden railings are rarely tested, and in fact, wooden manufactured railing systems often do not stand up to the rigorous tests conducted on metal and glass. Most deck railing companies strive only to meet minimum requirements so they can keep costs low.
In 2019, Fence Quarter consistently met the minimum testing requirements for the International Building Code (IBC), but we suspected our railings would exceed code requirements, so we decided to take our railing inserts to breaking point! Who does that? Christopher, Fence Quarter’s President, was present during the testing to find out how our product would measure up.
We performed tests with Fence Quarter’s Standard railing inserts and with the optional FAIL NOT hardware, a carbon fiber patent pending product that makes deck railings last longer. The standard railing insert exceeded the IBC Code by 8 times whereas the FAIL NOT hardware exceeded by over 11 times.
In fact, after the wood broke at a pressure of over 1,700 lbs per square foot, the FAIL NOT Hardware was still in its original place. During the test of the FAIL NOT hardware, the product did so well it broke the machine during an initial test. The testing company had to fix the equipment and begin the test again. Try engineering a wood deck railing that strong! Fence Quarter did it.
Deck Safety Matters
In December 2003, a deck guardrail in Charlottesville experienced catastrophic failure. At the time, the inspector called to the site reported that, “The attachments failed where the guardrail support posts were attached to the deck, and where the guardrail was attached to support posts.” A woman using the deck fell 14 feet to her death. Accidents like this happen from time to time, often with devastating results.
There are many reasons that deck guard rails fail. The use of nails instead of screws, or reduction of screws to save time and money, can lead to deadly accidents. Contractors, in a rush to move on to the next job, often do not put balusters on the frame. Sometimes, knots cause breakage in the balusters, or even rot. Even the type of lumber used plays a role in the success or failure of the guardrail.
Deck railing systems are held together by 3 major connection points:
- post to deck
- main rails to post, and
- infill to main rails.
It is the third, infill to main rail connections, that we at Fence Quarter are responsible for, and we do this well! Our Inserts were tested by a laboratory accredited by International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS). The results? Our inserts are strong, safe and solid.
Fence Quarter Makes Wood Railings Strong Again
Some homeowners turn to composite decking for their guardrails, believing composite is a stronger and more durable product. At one time, that may have been true. Now, there’s Fence Quarter.
Why are our deck railings so strong?
Natural Rot Resistance
Our products are made from Alaskan Yellow Cedar which has natural rot and pest resistant characteristics. That’s why boat builders and Native American Tribes from western coastal communities have been using this sustainable lumber for hundreds of years. Compared to other common deck-building woods like, Western Red Cedar, Redwood and Bald Cypress, Alaskan Yellow Cedar is less brittle and less likely to splinter. It’s also heavier and more rot resistant.
All Fence Quarter’s deck railings are made from mortise and tenon construction for a tighter and stronger fit. We also build our deck railings knot free and with excellent hardware. Our railing inserts act like a truss system with glued interior cross sections. Oh, and our inserts are fully removable for maintenance!
Upgrade Your Deck Railing Today
Are you using your deck more than ever before? With COVID19 keeping people at home, this is the perfect time to upgrade to a stylish, beautiful deck railing that’s safer for you and your family. Talk to a contractor about installing Fence Quarter’s wood deck railing inserts.
*Deck Safety Month is a Registered Trademark of North American Deck and Railing Association