Archbold, OH

Delta Building Collapse: Questions

Citizens of Delta, and all citizens of Fulton County, were shocked Thursday, June 12, when a portion of a wall of one of Delta’s oldest buildings collapsed.

Miraculously, no one was injured.

But the collapse raises disturbing questions. What if employees and customers were in the building when it collapsed? What if falling bricks had struck someone outside the building? What if it had fallen onto heavily traveled St. Rt. 2?

Isn’t there an arm of government that should have inspected the building and discovered the problem?

Apparently, the answer is “No.”

The State of Ohio inspects commercial and industrial buildings when they are constructed or remodeled. But in many places, including Archbold, there is no regular building inspection.

A similar problem happened several years ago in Columbus, our state capital. An overhanging decoration fell and killed a councilman.

It’s up to building owners to protect the public, of course, by maintaining and repairing their buildings as necessary.

Preventative maintenance protects a building owner from liability issues. Liability fears, alone, should be an incentive to maintain a building.

Building collapses are rare, but as the Delta incident proves, it can happen in any community. Building owners must consider it a wake-up call.

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