How to Stay Safe While Entertaining on Your Rooftop Deck

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. But if you follow these tips, it doesn’t have to play out that way.

The summer party and barbecue season is in full swing, and with that comes an influx of guests on your rooftop deck. But before you haul your cooler and grill to the roof, you should consider going over a few safety tips with your guests so that they live to tell the tale of your epic outdoor entertaining extravaganza. Nigel Ellis, President of Ellis Fall Safety Solutions LLC, gave ESTATENVY some vital tips to follow when it comes to rooftop entertaining.

1. Avoid the edges

Although this may seem to be common sense, the majority of rooftop injuries result from slips, trips and falls. To ensure that your guests remain safe while enjoying your rooftop, make sure they do not stand close to the edges or lean over the edge of the deck.

2. Blown away by the view, not the wind

While the air down below may be calm, the wind several stories up is a different story. It is important to make sure that any items and furnishings are properly weighted down as to not injure those on your rooftop or unsuspecting passersby below.

3. Drink at your own risk

Many parties and barbecues rely on alcohol as a staple item. However, when your soiree is occurring several stories up, alcohol may need to be limited if not eliminated. Alcohol is notorious for inhibiting motor skills, and reaction times and could result in an unwanted fall or fatality.

4. Insurance is reassurance

The best offense is a good defense. Make sure that before you invite your friends and family over for a rooftop get together that you have insurance that covers the space. In the event of an accident, you do not want to stress over who is at fault and how they are going to pay for medical bills.

5. The inspector should be the first one on the guest list

Before you even consider inviting anyone over to enjoy your rooftop, you should have your deck inspected by a professional. The winter months can cause ice to form and dam under rooftop decks, potentially causing structural problems. Heat from a previous summer season can also cause warping. It is best to get the opinion of a professional before you host your friends and family. You should also have an inspector over periodically to make sure your entertaining area remains safe. “Conduct frequent (every 3-6 months) hazard analysis with qualified persons,” said Ellis.