Deck Seating

If the deck is under 30 inches it does not require a guard; therefore, would this seat then not need a proper back? Or should I not call it a seat…plant rack? Any opinions?

And yes that is snow:(

If a child climbed up on the seat and fell it is not how far they fell but that no protection was in place for safety. Something like that gets a mention to the client when we do our walk around.

You can make any recommendation that you want, especially one that is a potential safety hazard.

“Perimeter bench seating was installed at one or more decks, porches or balconies where walking surfaces were more than 30 inches above the surrounding grade. Bench seating is not a safe substitute for standard guardrails, and is a potential fall hazard. Gaps in such seating often allow small children to climb over or underneath and fall. People sitting or standing on benches may also fall. The clients should at least be aware of this hazard, especially if small children are present. Recommend having a qualified contractor repair as necessary to eliminate fall hazards around bench seating.”

Just verbally? Not in report?

Just verbal for me as it does not require a railing normally but is a safety concern for those with children. I usually illustrate this type of hazard with a joking manner suggesting this is the drunken uncle type hazard clients get it and remember.

And people wonder where the terms “soft report” and “soft inspector” come from!

Get off your high horse Jeffery I call them as I see them and frankly the photo showed a minor safety concern hardly something to red flag and call a major concern.
Minor safety hazards such as the one pictured, one where no code applies nor is there a clear danger to the buyer as they may or may not have children visiting or otherwise simply does not call for an inspector to red flag and report an item , if that were the case reports would be fifty pages longer than the normal fifty with five pages of red ink for a summary.
I point out that humor during an inspection can ease clients and make them remember later points you wish to emphasize but that are not critical in the decision making process of home buying.

The requirement to extend a guard to 36" above the surface of fixed seating that is adjacent to a required guard, which appeared in the 2009 and 2012 IRC, has been removed from the 2015 code.

If the deck isn’t above 30", there is no requirement for a guard at the deck or the fixed seating. That being said, a safety notification should be included in your report. It saves any “he said / she said” verbal scenarios that may happen due to a later accident. Protect your assets.

Thanks for the feedback. It did go in my report stating not a requirement but recommended addition to increase safety.

Exactly. Words of wisdom.
If only we all could walk around just documenting “red flags” and “major stuff” and then just talk about “irrelevant” things without having to document it, wouldn’t an inspector’s job be grand?
Unfortunately, it’s often the mosquitoes that bite, not the elephants :wink:
FWIW, I’ve never heard of hearsay ever holding up in a court of law. I don’t ever plan to find out if it will.