Making Sure it's Safe in Gulf Shores

Making Sure it's Safe in Gulf Shores

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A deck crowded with spring breakers collapses. Images from last year that are hard to forget. But it wasn't an isolated incident.

"Last year had a deck collapse, stairs collapse, rails being pushed through, kids falling through it," says Chief Building Inspector Brandan Franklin.

It seemed suddenly a place for pleasure was becoming a place for pain. "We really raised a flag with the council and they tasked us with finding something that can make everyone safe and feel secure when they come here and we believe we have passed an ordinance that should accomplish that," says Franklin.

The ordinance requires all properties with a rental license to be inspected. "We want to make sure our decks are properly attached, make sure the guard rails, stairs are all safe and secure, want to make sure there is no open electrical wiring," says Franklin.

This is the first year for the inspections. They've only been going on for a couple of months and they've been concentrating on beach houses. This time next year they will include condominiums.

David Mooney is staying in one of the rental houses. "We have great confidence in the owner. He's been very good to us and keeps the place in very good condition and that's one of the reasons we stay here."

So far, the inspection outside the home is going well. "This house actually looks very good."

According to Franklin, the goal is simple. "I want to know if I turn my 3 year old niece loose or my 80 year old grandmother and anyone in between, they're not going to get hurt when they here." And that's a place anyone would like to stay.

Homeowners or their management companies must contact the building inspectors office in Gulf Shores to schedule the inspections. If they do not comply with the inspections they will not be able to rent their properties next year.

There are about 900 homes required to pass inspection before the end of the year.

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