(Article by Deckorators, Chris Camfferman. First appeared in the May 2016 issue of Building Products Digest and The Merchant)

3 Ways You Can Do Your Part To Promote Safe Outdoor Living (And Potentially Expand Sales)

With summertime just around the corner, May’s warm weather invites homeowners around the country to start spending extended time outside on their 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 increasing deck sales. 

Unfortunately, safety features often take a backseat when planning a new deck build, 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. There is a plethora of ways in which dealers can help bring awareness to safety measures associated with outdoor living. This resource acts as a guide to help equip dealers with the necessary information to better protect customers and limit hazardous environments. 

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 bringing awareness 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 long-term equity to customer’s outdoor living spaces.

Spread The Word

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 with minimal effort.

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 2022, including a new mobile app 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. 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, but 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 UFP Retail Solutions, an affiliate of UFP Industries, Inc. Deckorators is a brand of UFP Retail Solutions and the industry leader in decking, railing, balusters, post caps, lighting and more.

For more information on Deckorators, visit deckorators.com.