On April thirtieth, 2013, President Barak Obama proclaimed May to be the national Building Safety Month. The proclamation comes in response to the need for greater vigilance in building safety, combined with a need for the private sector take the lead in partnering with civil organizations and governmental agencies to make our nation’s construction sites safer and more productive. The proclamation states that “[a]s Americans, our spirit is strong and resilient, and our buildings should match that spirit … let us work to keep structures sound and up to code. By doing so, we can conserve energy, protect the environment, and help communities withstand the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.” Sponsored by the International Code Council, the theme for 2014’s Building Safety Month is “Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks.”
Cities all over the country are hosting events in conjunction with Building Safety Month. Amarillo, Texas kicked off Building Safety Month by creating an informative display in City Hall that demonstrates each of the themes, and then hosting a hot dog roast during the first week where everyone could stop by for dinner and learn more about the importance of building safety. Oklahoma City partnered with Lowe’s to sponsor the “Build and Grow” event, where families would learn more about the permitting, plan review, and inspection process while building a wooden backyard project. Winter Park, Florida, celebrated Building Safety Month by issuing a mayoral proclamation in support of efforts to promote building safety, and followed it up by launching a public awareness campaign based on the safety issues highlighted by the monthly themes of Building Safety Month.
Truthfully, the idea of needing safe buildings seems like such a no-brainer that people take for granted all the things that must happen to construct and maintain safe buildings. To help us remember the different aspects of building safety, each week has a different theme. The themes for this year focus on the role of code officials in keeping buildings safe.
May 5-11, 2014—Code Officials: Keeping Fire in its Place
May 12-18, 2014—Code Officials: Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm
May 19-25, 2014—Code Officials: Surround Your House with Safety
May 26-31, 2014—Code Officials: Building A Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow
To learn more about how building codes protect us, or to find out about Building Safety Month events in your area, check the International Code Council website.