Building Safety is... Personal

Building Safety Starts at Home

Week 1 – May 1-7

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Welcome to Week 1 of Building Safety Month 2023! As part of our "Building Safety is Personal" theme, this week we're highlighting "Building Safety Starts At Home" and how building safety impacts our everyday life as family members, friends and individuals at home. Here we'll dive into everything from fire safety tips and home maintenance best practices, to how to be more sustainable to ensure a cleaner and greener tomorrow.

What are some ways building safety impacts you at home? Join the Building Safety Month conversation – tag the International Code Council on social media, and use #BuildingSafety365 to help spread the word!

Fire Safety At Home


Modern homes and buildings incorporate the latest building codes and are designed to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. While building safety professionals help maintain this system, there are things we can do at home to stay safe and help reduce the risk of fire. If a fire does break out, it's also critical to know how to make a safe exit – it takes less than 30 seconds for a small flame to burn completely out of control and turn into a major fire.

Here we've listed a few fire safety tips, and be sure to download and review our complete guides below.

  • Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.
  • Test each smoke alarm regularly. Keep batteries fresh by replacing them annually.
  • Make an escape plan so everyone knows how to get out fast. Pick a meeting place outside the home where everyone will meet.
  • Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away.
  • Keep all items that can burn away from your home, clean leaves from your gutters and clear dead leaves and branches from shrubs and trees.

10 Tips on Fire Safety
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Alarm Safety Tips
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Exit Safety Tips
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Building Safety at Home

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Regardless if you own your home or you're renting, keeping your home maintained is important to ensure you're living in a safe environment. Home maintenance encompasses a wide range of preventative tasks that all contribute to occupant health, occupant safety and security and overall sustainability (more on this in the next section). From mold prevention to electricity safety tips from a code inspector, here are some of the highlights pulled from the resources below.

  • Never overload electrical cords or power strips. Be sure the total amount of energy used by appliances and lights plugged into the cord or strip does not exceed that capacity.
  • Don’t use appliances that have damaged cords.
  • For mold prevention, watch for leaky pipes, condensation and wet spots, and fix sources of moisture problems as soon as possible.
  • There are several materials and items that shouldn't be flushed down the toilet, including medication, disposable wipes, coffee grounds and more.
  • To prevent your pipes from freezing this winter, drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions.

10 Tips for Preventing Mold
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Electricity Safety Tips
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10 Tips for Backyard and Pool Safety
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Private Sewage Disposal
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Water Safety Tips for Winter
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Sustainability at Home

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The International Code Council is helping our communities forge a path forward on energy and sustainability to confront the impacts of a changing climate, and these guiding tenants can be used at home, too! With fresh water supplies at risk and an ever-increasing load on the power grid threatening communities around the world, every proactive step we take at home makes a big difference in decreasing our footprint and burden on the system. Keep these tips (more below) in mind the next time you set your thermostat, plan a home renovation and more.

  • Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators, and use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks.
  • Never dump anything down storm drains.
  • Change the filters in the heating and cooling system of your home regularly.
  • Replace your light bulbs with LEDs, which use up to 90 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Design your home with materials that are easily recyclable, reusable, renewable, durable, affordable and low maintenance.
  • Build a rain garden to capture roof drainage and divert it to your garden or landscaping. Be sure to check your local rules on rainwater harvesting prior to installation.

10 Tips for Conserving Water at Home
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Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution
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10 Tips for Energy Efficient Homes
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Building Green, Living Better
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Non-Potable Water Reuse
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The Code Council in Action

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Spread the Word

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