Having worked on old buildings for over 40 years, I have seen numerous examples of dangerous underconstruction. The three stacked porches shown on the front page April 24 (“Death in fall adds to calls for housing office”) are a prime case.

The accidental death of one man is terrible, but the potential exists for a more dreadful catastrophe: the collapse of the entire porch structure. This might be caused by having a number of people out on the porches – say, on a pleasant summer evening.

I cannot tell the details of construction from the photo – for example, how the decks are secured to the building. Nowadays we have a variety of heavy screws and (preferably) bolts made for the purpose. In this case, probably spikes were used and have rusted.

The basic porch structure should have rear posts, and all posts should be braced. Wood should be pressure-treated, etc., etc.

In this case, the porches are to be removed. But apartment dwellers who have similar porch facilities should take warning: Do not overload them.

How many people are too many? I couldn’t give you a number. Tell your landlord to bring that porch up to code, and in the meantime, keep your parties indoors, especially if there’s dancing.

Tom Hinkle