As a leader in technical services and multi-hazard mitigation guidance, FEMA is participating in Building Safety Month. Led by the International Code Council (ICC), this international campaign runs throughout May to raise awareness about the importance of modern building codes and strong code enforcement.
Up-to-date building code adoption and a strong code enforcement system ensure that individuals and communities are safe in the buildings where they live, work, and play – after all, codes build confidence. As we face disasters on an unprecedented scale, from hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes, building codes are important to our families’ and communities’ safety, health, and well-being.
In May, ICC, its 64,000 members, and a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety community come together with corporations, government agencies, professional associations and nonprofits to promote building safety through proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings and more.
The 2019 Building Safety Month theme is “No Code, No Confidence.” ICC has many Building Safety Month promotional and educational items communities can use to promote building safety and highlight the valuable role code professionals perform every day. These materials can be found at http://www.buildingsafetymonth.org. Many items are also available for download completely free on the ICC online store.
Week One (May 1-5) Preparing for disasters: Build strong, build smart highlights how one of the best ways for communities to prepare for disasters is to build to code and to ensure that codes are properly applied. Disaster mitigation through the adoption and enforcement of codes provides protection to individuals and communities in the event of a disaster. Documents summarizing the hazard-resistant provisions of the International Building Codes are available at FEMA’s Building Code Resources page. This page also includes other guidance documents on codes and standards.
Week Two (May 6-12) Ensuring a safer future through training and education recognizes that ongoing outreach and training on developments in building safety are essential for supporting safe, resilient communities. Building safety professionals are encouraged to seek out resources to advance their practice. FEMA offers various training opportunities to help foster the next generation of building officials.
Week Three (May 13-19) Securing clean, abundant water for all communities emphasizes the vigilance of code officials in guarding our water supplies. Building Science Branch provides guidance in FEMA P-348: Protecting Utility Systems from Flood Damage that assists in constructing buildings with building utility systems that are designed and built so that buildings can be re-occupied and fully operational as soon as water, sewer, and electricity are restored.
Week Four (May 20-26) Construction professionals and homeowners: Partners in safety encourages anyone undertaking a construction project to engage with code officials to ensure success. Code officials ensure that all buildings, including homes, businesses and places of public assembly, are built to required building codes which address structural stability, fire safety, exits, sanitation, electricity, energy efficiency and more. Basic guidance and easy-to-use tools that help property owners understand building codes are available in the FEMA Building Codes Toolkit.
Week Five (May 27-31) Innovations in building safety highlights how building codes can make it easier to incorporate technology into structures, improving energy efficiency and resiliency. Building codes can also protect property investments and ensure they meet minimum standards of safety. The building safety industry is on the cutting edge of technology and building science. FEMA P-798, Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings discusses how to retain or improve natural hazard resistance while incorporating green building practices. While most common green building practices provide sustainability advantages with little or no effect on structural performance or durability, others require reevaluation of the building’s structural design or detailing to retain its integrity during natural hazard events.
Visit www.buildingsafetymonth.org for more information about the campaign. Click here to download the campaign poster.
Join the conversation using the hashtag #BuildingSafety365 on social media!
For more information and tips on preparing yourself, family and friends for potential disasters, visit Ready.gov.
For more information about FEMA Building Science Branch, visit https://www.fema.gov/building-science.