A report on the inspection of thousands of buildings in Berkeley is to be published in the next fortnight, following the balcony collapse that claimed the lives of six Irish students in the Californian city last summer.
New building codes passed by the City of Berkeley last July stipulate that all “exterior elevated wood and metal decks, balconies, landings, stairway systems, guardrails, handrails, or any parts thereof in weather exposed areas” were to have been inspected within six months by designated professionals to ensure they are in safe condition, working order, and free of dry rot or deterioration.
That deadline passed two weeks ago, and a spokesperson for the City of Berkeley said it has sent thousands of letters to property owners about the new ordinances, and have received thousands of replies in kind.
The regulation affects around 6,000 buildings, and property owners will also be required to have the fixtures inspected every three years as part of the new ordinances.
“We as a city want to make sure that properties in Berkeley are as safe as can be,” city spokesperson Matthai Chakko told the Daily Californian.
“We now have the strictest standards for exterior structures in the state,” he said.
The report, due to be published on February 10, will include results of the city-wide inspections and recommendations to the city council.
The building codes were unanimously passed by Berkeley City Council one month after Olivia Burke, Eoghan Culligan, Ashley Donohue, Lorcán Miller, Niccolai Schuster, and Eimear Walsh died when a fourth-floor balcony on the Library Gardens complex collapsed during a 21st birthday party on June 16 last.
Aoife Beary, Clodagh Cogley, Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn, Jack Halpin, Niall Murray, and Hannah Waters survived the collapse but suffered a variety of injury.
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