Wall Collapse On Toddler Prompts Warning By Architects

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20th January 2010, 12:47pm - Views: 1084

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Media Enquiries:

David Hallett, Victorian State Manager Archicentre (03) 9819 4577 

Mobile: 0439 439 115

Ron Smith Corporate Media Communications Archicentre Mobile: 0417 329 201 

Media Release                                          


20 January


Wall Collapse on Toddler Prompts Warning for Home Owners

Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects today said the

collapse of a brick wall on a two year old toddler last night in Clayton South, should be a warning for

all home owners and those with commercial premises to monitor the condition of their homes and

buildings, particularly any brick fences and walls. 

David Hallett, Victorian State Manager of Archicentre said Victoria has gone through a long drought which

has seen the stability of brick walls and fences damaged, often by the roots of large trees seeking water and

the shrinking of clay soils as they dry out. 

“This circumstance can cause cracking or leaning, especially of single brick fences or walls, which can be

up to two metres high. 

“Bricks are heavy and dangerous when they fall and because of their shape and sharp corners, they can

become deadly.”

Mr Hallett said people can be lulled into a false sense of security by the solid appearance of brick structures,

which are only as strong as the cement and the construction methods used to build them. 

“Dangers can occur when the  walls have been nudged by motor vehicles, have been used to attach

basketball rings where children slam dunk, and where building is taking place on the boundary of the

property, especially where there is excavation and heavy machinery involved. 

Mr Hallett said Archicentre is increasingly being called in to assess situations where brick walls have started

to lean into public areas such as footpaths and in commercial areas where workers are involved, as owners

become concerned about public safety and their legal liability. 

“We would urge all home owners who have leaning or cracked fences and walls, or anybody considering

buying a home to conduct a safety audit and where required have the structure professionally assessed.

“We would also be suggesting that where people are having construction taking place next door up to

boundary they have their structure assessed before and after to ensure they have a record of any damage

caused,“ Mr Hallett added.


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