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Flocking to roofs, decks can pose harm

There are few things more relaxing than sitting with a drink or some dinner outside on a glorious day.

There are few things more relaxing than sitting with a drink or some dinner outside on a glorious day.

And now that the days have become longer and the temperatures are getting warmer, people are craving outdoor time and are flocking to roofs and decks.

While they can provide a phenomenal view of the city, they can also be treacherous.

Most recently, a man in his 20s fell from a roof in South Boston and was seriously injured. Last year a massive porch collapse in Jamaica Plain sent multiple people to the hospital.

“We do see more incidents in the warmer months,” said Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for Boston EMS.

For those who rent, roof access may be available in their building, but is sometimes illegal.

According to the city’s Inspectional Services Department, “flat roofs” that have not been permitted should not be used.

Roofs are typically unsafe when they do not have railings, a proper egress or structural integrity.

People using decks should also be aware of the load the deck is carrying, including outdoor furniture.

As the temperatures increase, so does the risk of a fire started by improper grilling.

“It’s a big concern that we have once the weather starts getting nice,” said Steve MacDonald, a Boston Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters warn that charcoal grills are not allowed on a structure and that propane grills are not allowed on a structure above the first floor.

While last week’s record-breaking temperatures have faded, the forecast for this weekend calls for sunny skies and temps in the middle 50s.

“We do hope that people do use their common sense,” Mehigan said.

Recent incidents

1. Days before the St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston, police warned residents not to use roof decks that were not permitted and that violations could cost $300. However, a man in his 20s fell three stories from a roof during the parade earlier this month. He survived and it was unclear if the roof was legal.

2. A woman in her 20s fell four stories to her death through a skylight while on the roof on a Summer Street building in the Fort Point neighborhood last September.

3. About a dozen people were injured when a porch collapsed during a cookout at a Jamaica Plain house last June.

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