2021 Building Safety Month Campaign Toolkit

Campaign Toolkit

Educate your community. Use the Code Council's campaign toolkit to put together news releases, advertising, and posts for your own social media campaign.

Updated files will be posted once available.

Are you a Code Council member? Click here for member-only resources.
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Week TWO // May 2021

Building Safety Month: Week Four

Training the Next Generation

WEEK TWO // May 10–16, 2021

Building Safety Month: Week Four

Training the Next Generation

WEEK TWO // May 10–16, 2021

Importance of Training and Professional Development

Well-trained, motivated building safety professionals are key to creating and maintaining a successful built environment. Training is important because it helps code officials avoid mistakes and accidents and properly enforce the code. The building safety field encompasses a wide gamut of specialties and offers many excellent career opportunities that contribute to the safety of the built environment. Here are just a sampling:

  • A building inspector inspects structures to determine compliance with the various building codes and standards adopted by the jurisdiction.
  • A building official manages the development, administration, interpretation, application and enforcement of the codes adopted by their jurisdiction.
  • A special inspector provides a specialized inspection of structural material fabrication and placement, such as poured concrete, structural steel installation and fasteners, etc.
  • permit technician assists in the issuance of construction and development permits to ensure compliance with the provisions of a jurisdiction’s adopted regulations and codes.
  • fire marshal develops and delivers fire prevention and implements public fire safety programs that provide for inspections of occupancies for life safety and fire issues in accordance with codes and standards adopted by their jurisdiction.
  • A plumbing inspector inspects the installation, maintenance and alteration of plumbing systems complete with their fixtures, equipment, accessories, and appliances.

Visit the Code Council’s Learning Center to learn more about available training options.

Building Careers for Today’s Generation

Safety 2.0Download pdf or jpg.The building industry will experience a loss of 80 percent of the existing skilled workforce over a 15 year period, according to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Building Sciences in 2014. In fact, the entire building industry, including code officials, is looking at a severe workforce shortage of qualified candidates. This is a tremendous opportunity for job seekers!

The Code Council has developed Safety 2.0 to welcome a new generation of members and leaders to the building safety profession. Programs include our High School and College Technical Training Programs and our Military Families Career Path Program — which promotes building safety careers for military personnel after service. If you’re a student or professional looking for a new career, check out the Building Safety Career Path.

Additional Information and Resources

Week THREE // May 2021

Building Safety Month: Week Two

Water Safety

WEEK THREE // May 17–23, 2021

Building Safety Month: Week Three

Water Safety

WEEK THREE // May 17–23, 2021
Clean water is the world’s most precious commodity. According to World Health Organization estimates as of June 2019, 785 million people lacked even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million people who are dependent on surface water. Building, plumbing and green codes help guard it for future generations through proper construction, conservation and safe disposal.

Code officials are vigilant protectors of our water supply. Because of their dedicated service, you can turn on the tap in your home and draw sufficient, clean water. They take nothing for granted, so you can.

As a homeowner or renter, you need to pay attention to the water supply to your home even if your community offers water and sewage treatment. If there are faulty or no backflow protectors in your home, cross-contamination can happen even while residents are filling their backyard swimming pools, drawing some of the pool’s chlorine into the home.

 

In Episode Seven of the ICC Pulse Podcast, the Code Council's Senior Director of PMG Resources Lee Clifton speaks with backflow prevention specialist Bruce Rathburn about plumbing cross-connection control programs. Rathburn is the past president of his local chapter of the American Backflow Prevention Association (ABPA) and the immediate past president of ABPA International. Click here to listen to the podcast.

Water Efficiency

Water conservation and efficiency has become increasingly important in recent years due to water scarcity, droughts and water contamination in many areas of the world.

The Code Council and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) partnered on a water ratings standard, known as HERSH20, that builders can use in the U.S. to evaluate and market a home’s water usage efficiency. Real estate agents are beginning to take notice of the value of such water efficiency ratings, not just in California, but in other areas where potable water may be a concern.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense Program is a major water efficiency initiative based in the U.S. This important initiative was developed to help consumers identify water efficient products that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. Since its creation in 2006 through the end of 2018, WaterSense has helped Americans save a cumulative 3.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $84.2 billion in water and energy bills, according to the EPA.  Additionally, the use of WaterSense labeled products saved 462.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.  ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES), a member of the Code Council’s family of solutions and an industry leader in technical evaluations of building products, is an EPA-licensed certifier. To learn more about ICC-ES WaterSense Programs, click here.

Swimming Pool and Backyard Safety

During warm weather seasons, homeowners and renters should take the time to check their outdoor areas for potential safety hazards. Proper inspections now can help to keep your family and friends safe in the future.

Nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death for children under the age of five. Practice constant, adult supervision around any body of water, including pools and spas. And, if you're considering a swimming pool purchase, contact your local Building Department first to determine exactly what permits are needed and what requirements you must follow.

The Code Council supports drowning prevention and has a close partnership with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Pool Safely is a national public education campaign that works with partners around the country, including the Code Council, to reduce child drownings and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. Take the pledge and get a free pool safety kit.

The Code Council provides building safety solutions, technical resources, product certification and training for plumbing and swimming pool professionals – part of what is known as our PMG program. The acronym PMG refers to model codes, standards, services and resources related to plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas and swimming pools. Learn more about our PMG program.

Additional Information and Resources

ARTICLE   Facilities.net: Water Conservation and Restroom Design

INFO   Just the Facts: Legionella and Water Supply Systems

FACT SHEET  How to make your water safer to drink

PUBLICATION   FEMA P-348, Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood Damage

Week FOUR// May 24–31, 2021

Disaster Preparedness

WEEK FOUR // May 24–31, 2021

Disaster Preparedness

WEEK FOUR // May 24–31, 2021

Natural disasters are increasing in severity and frequency. Advance planning for devastating events like hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes helps individuals and communities increase the health and safety of their population during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services and supports a faster recovery in the aftermath of a disaster. Here’s how you can help your family and community:

Build to the Latest Codes

One of the best ways for communities to prepare for disasters is to build to the most up-to-date, modern building codes. Disaster mitigation through the adoption and enforcement of building codes provides you, your family and your community protection in the event of a natural disaster. Only 31 percent of hazard-prone jurisdictions in the U.S. adopt the latest two editions of hazard-resistant building codes. Broken down by hazard, that statistic is 59 percent for hurricane-prone, 33 percent for flood-prone, 60 percent for earthquake-prone, 46 percent for exposure to damaging wind, and 49 percent for tornado-prone jurisdictions.

It is also very important that codes are properly applied. Proper application requires that local building departments be sufficiently staffed with plan reviewers, inspectors and other qualified professionals, and that building officials are trained and stay up to date with code advancements through continuing education (more on this in Week Four). Studies show good code enforcement decreases loss following disasters by up to 25 percent. When states and local jurisdictions apply the latest codes and they are diligently enforced, they are more likely to qualify for federal pre-disaster mitigation funding and for more post-disaster recovery assistance. Further, newly expanded FEMA grants in the U.S. will fund code adoption, administration and enforcement pre- and post-disaster – providing new resources for U.S. communities to update or build out enforcement efforts.

The National Institute of Building Sciences found that adopting the International Residential and Building Codes generates a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested. The same report found that designing to exceed select provisions of the I-Codes and adopting the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code would save an additional $4 for every $1 spent.

The I-Codes, developed by the International Code Council, are a family of fifteen coordinated, modern building safety codes used in all 50 U.S. states and in many other countries that protect against disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse.

The development and widespread adoption of building codes creates a uniform regulatory environment in which design professionals and contractors are held to a set of standards adopted by and applicable to the jurisdiction in which they work. The Rebuilding of London Act of 1666, after the Great Fire of London that same year, was the first building code of the modern era. Building regulation in the United States began in the late 1800s when major cities began to adopt and enforce building codes, also in response to large fires in densely populated urban areas. Over time, the scope of building codes broadened. Today, building codes address structural integrity, lighting, ventilation, safe egress, construction materials as well as fire resistance. They specify the minimum requirements to safeguard the health, safety and general welfare of building occupants.

To learn more about building codes, check out:

Documents summarizing the hazard-resistant provisions of the I-Codes are available at FEMA's Building Code Resources page. CodeMasters, which are easy-to-follow reference guides for designing in accordance with the latest I-Codes, are available on seismic, wind, snow and flood loads, and are available in the Code Council store.

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Prepare Your Family

Making sure your family is prepared for any natural disaster is important. Below are some of the steps you can take to prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters. Your actions can ensure that no matter what Mother Nature brings, you, your family and your community will be resilient.

Help is available from code officials post-disaster. Inter-local agreements, mutual aid agreements and state-to-state agreements through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) are providing help with building inspections when needed. FEMA P-2055 Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guidance: Report on the Current State of Practice, including Recommendations Related to Structural and Nonstructural Safety and Habitability can also be of assistance. The Code Council and the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) have joined forces to create the Disaster Response Alliance, a national, digital database of volunteers to assist local, state or federal entities who need skilled, trained and certified building safety professionals in the aftermath of a disaster.

Below are some resources the Code Council has to help you prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters.

Here are a few tips to follow when preparing your family for any emergency.

  • Determine your risk. Identifying and understanding possible hazards and emergencies is the first step in preparing for natural disasters.
  • Consider incorporating a safe room in building plans and improvements. A safe room  is a hardened structure specifically designed to meet FEMA criteria and provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
  • Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
  • Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment or other location where you are when disaster strikes.
  • Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.
  • Visit FEMA’s Prepareathon! to learn more about how to prepare for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and winter storms. Get Involved to help prepare your family and community.

Modern building codes ensure that your home is built using the latest practices and standards. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) has created a series of videos that demonstrate the critical need for residential building codes. Find out more about the building codes in place in your area by visiting InspectToProtect.org.

PSAs from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

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Protect Your Home

The power of natural disasters can be overwhelming. While you can't necessarily stop them from happening, there are steps you can take to increase your home's chance of survival, even in the face of the worst that Mother Nature can dish out. Protecting your home can range from taking simple measures like protecting windows or elevating appliances, to more complete building retrofit measures. See Additional Information and Resources below for links to hazard-specific guidance on protecting your home.

Several lines of insurance are available to cover financial damage from various hazards. To learn more about protecting your home financially through insurance, see FLASH’s Homeowner’s Insurance Guide to Natural Disasters.

Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering and being financially devastated. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damages. The average flood insurance claims payment to homeowners was about $90,000 from the Baton Rouge floods in 2016 and $65,000 for Superstorm Sandy that struck the Northeast in 2012.

FEMA's Individual Assistance Program, during times of federally-declared disasters, can provide financial assistance for home repairs, rental assistance, and other needs in the U.S., but the average payouts are much smaller, on the order of $6,000 to $8,000 per household — why risk it? For more information on flood insurance, visit floodsmart.gov.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has created a number of infographics and videos to help consumers and businesses prepare, weather and recover from natural disasters

The ICC Pulse Podcast: Episode Three featured two guests from FEMA's Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration to discuss pre-disaster mitigation.
In a special episode of the ICC Pulse Podcast last July, two structural engineers discussed the Searles Valley (Calif) Earthquakes and shared insight on seismic design provisions in the building code.

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Benchmark Your Community’s Resilience

There are important measures that can be taken at a community level to reduce the impacts of disasters.  Benchmarks allow a community to identify how resilient they currently are and the steps they can take to improve. Learn more about resilience and the I‑Codes in Week Four: Resilience. Sustainability. Innovation.

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Additional Information and Resources

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About Building Safety Month

About Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety. This campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, and helps individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.

The International Code Council, its 64,000 members, and a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety communities come together with corporations, government agencies, professional associations and nonprofits to promote building safety through proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings and more. We come together to support Building Safety Month because we understand the need for safe and sustainable structures where we live, work and play.

All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse. Building codes are society's best way of protecting homes, offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, stores and entertainment venues. Code officials work day in and day out to keep the public safe.

History

For the last 41 years, we have celebrated advances in constructing safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient buildings and homes. The ongoing support of Building Safety Month and the important role code officials play in public safety in the built environment has come from U.S. presidents, governors, mayors, county executives, other government officials and construction industry professionals.

In 2020, the Building Safety Month campaign had:

2020 Overview Graphic

2021 Sponsor Options

Sponsorship Options

The International Code Council is grateful for the companies and organizations that are making building safety a priority by helping to sponsor Building Safety Month.

Become a Sponsor

Sponsorship for the 41st Annual Building Safety Month provides unmatched, high profile opportunities to demonstrate your organization's commitment to building safety. Sponsorship will showcase your message and highlight your commitment to individuals and organizations in building code development, catastrophe management, emergency management, fire safety, green and energy construction, home improvement, home inspection, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, recreational safety, standards and testing, and more.

Read the 2021 ICC Visibility Prospectus for all Building Safety Month Sponsorship options.

Week ONE// May 1–9, 2021

Energy and Innovation

WEEK ONE // May 1–9, 2021

Energy and Innovation

WEEK ONE // WEEK ONE // May 1–9, 2021

The building safety industry is on the cutting edge of energy efficiency, building science and innovation. From green construction and resiliency to product evaluation, certification and codification, the International Code Council family of solutions is part of this technological transformation to make our buildings safer and our industry more advanced and adaptable.

The International Codes (I-Codes), developed by the Code Council, are the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in the world. For decades, our codes and standards have addressed energy efficiency and sustainability by incorporating the latest innovations in science and technology, and we remain committed to working with member jurisdictions and industry partners to bring the right building products and practices to market, labeling new homes and structures as more efficient, and spreading the word about the need for wiser resource usage and building resilient structures.

Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction

Energy fuels our lives - households, businesses and society in general. Yet, energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions can pose significant challenges to communities, homeowners and renters, and business owners.

  • Americans currently spend more than $200 billion annually on energy bills.
  • Energy use impacts housing affordability, with low-income households facing a median energy burden three-times that of non-low-income households.
  • Globally, buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for over one-third of global final energy consumption and nearly 40 percent of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions.

However, there are solutions. Building energy codes contribute to the health, safety and welfare of communities and citizens, reducing energy bills, improving occupant and community health, enhancing resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Code Council family of solutions has resources available to assist jurisdictions, builders, manufacturers, and the public with building energy efficiency ranging from support for adoption and implementation of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to a toolkit for states and communities with advanced energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals.

Resiliency

Resiliency is the ability to plan and prepare for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events regardless of whether the subject is an individual or our society, a business or our economy, a single bridge or all critical infrastructure.

Creating a resilient nation requires diligent planning and innovative thinking. Incorporating new technologies in current building practices to achieve higher resiliency is exciting but can be expensive. Thankfully, effectively utilizing current codes and standards throughout all phases of the building’s lifecycle increases the efficacy of new building technologies and offers a cost-effective path toward community stability during times of disaster. Resilience starts with strong, regularly updated, and properly implemented building codes.

The Code Council has many resources available to assist jurisdictions, manufacturers and the public with these building practices.

There are important measures that can be taken at a community level to reduce the impacts of disasters. Benchmarks allow a community to identify how resilient they currently are and the steps they can take to improve.

The Alliance for National and  Community Resilience (ANCR)

The Alliance for National and Community Resilience (ANCR) is a Code Council co-founded 501(c)3 aimed at improving resilience and implementing good community practices in towns and cities across the U.S. The Code Council and ANCR are working on developing community resilience benchmarks across all community functions.

Their first benchmark pilot, covering buildings, consists of nine requirements aimed at increasing the resilience of our communities, including the adoption, administration and enforcement of building codes. In particular, the benchmark encourages local governments to adopt building codes and to provide the human, technical and financial resources necessary to support permitting, plan review and inspections. Buildings house many of the most critical functions of our communities, including schools, hospitals, businesses and residences. These benchmarks are especially critical in providing community leaders the necessary tools to create safer and more resilient structures.

In the fall of 2019, ANCR announced the release of their housing benchmark, which addresses the availability of affordable housing, the quality of housing, the availability of shelter, and continuity planning in the event of a disaster.

All residential structures including single family and multifamily are included in the benchmark, which also addresses the needs of various groups such as older residents, families, and residents with physical and mental disabilities requiring supportive housing needs.

ANCR also produced two white papers on the contributions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to resilience. These are the first two in a series examining how specific International Codes (I-Codes) support resilience.

The studies below, including the two whitepapers referenced above, are a good place to start learning about how building codes contribute to resilience.

In 2019, the Code Council launched a global initiative to bring together experts from the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand to improve building resilience worldwide. This new collaborative forum provides a valuable opportunity for participants to discuss common struggles, and to share knowledge, research and best practices, as they consider the role of building codes in resilience and durability in the face of increasingly severe weather events.

Sustainability

Green building and sustainable construction strategies reinforce the societal health, life and safety benefits that building codes offer, providing resilience to natural disasters, a changing climate, resource consumption and management, and service interruptions due to unforeseen events. These tools can also aid occupant comfort and health, save money and preserve resources during the design, construction and operation of buildings. Many homeowners, businesses and building professionals have voluntarily sought to incorporate green and sustainable building strategies into their projects, and a number of systems have been developed to guide green building practices.

The 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) provides the design and construction industry with a very effective way to deliver sustainable, resilient, high-performance buildings. The 2018 IgCC provides fundamental criteria for energy efficiency, resource conservation, water safety, land use, site development, indoor environmental quality and building performance that can be broadly adopted.

Innovation

Code compliant building products

The certification and accreditation of building products are critical to the building code enforcement process. Technical evaluations of building product listings and plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas listings provide regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products and systems comply with codes and technical standards. The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) issues reports on product code compliance that are made available free of charge to code officials, contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers and anyone else with an interest in the building industry and construction.

Accreditation of entities that support code compliance

There is a need for independent verification that businesses, organizations and governmental entities that facilitate building codes and standards are competent and comply with industry and/or international standards. The International Accreditation Service (IAS) accredits testing and calibration laboratories, inspection agencies, building departments, fabricator inspection programs and special inspection agencies to ensure adherence to acknowledged standards.

Building department codification

Codification is the process by which local governments keep their laws organized, structured and updated to serve as a reliable legal reference. General Code updates and digitizes local codes, integrating new laws into the existing code. It works with municipalities to create a single, consistent resource and compiles the information into a comprehensive code. It subsequently publishes this code resource in print or in a convenient online platform. ICC-Community Development Solutions (ICC-CDS) offers software solutions that allow building departments and code enforcement officers to streamline and track information associated with the inspection and compliance process.

So, whether you’re considering renovating, remodeling or building from the ground up, make sure your project is based on the codes and standards that incorporate resilience, sustainability and the latest innovations in science and technology, to ensure that safety and efficiency are the result.

Additional Information and Resources

INFO Community Resilience Indicators

PUBLICATION FEMA P-798, Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings

2021 Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month is an international campaign celebrated in May to raise awareness about building safety. Learn more.

Building Safety Month is an international campaign celebrated in May to raise awareness about building safety. Learn more.

Building Safety Month: Week One

Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month: Week Two

Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month: Week Three

Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month: Week Four

 

Building Safety Month: Week One

Building Safety Month: Week Two

Building Safety Month: Week Three

Building Safety Month: Week Four

Take action today!

Educate Your Community
Use the Code Council's campaign toolkit to connect with your local community and to run your own social media campaign.
Issue a Proclamation
Show your support of Building Safety Month by asking your city official to sign a proclamation.
Promotional Materials
For print copies of brochures, pencils and more, visit the ICC store.
Safety Tips
Our free safety tips for the backyard, pool, electrical appliances and disasters are available here.
Kids Corner
Download fun and educational materials for elementary school-aged children.
Code Council Members, click here.

#BuildingSafety365

Take action today!

Educate Your Community
Use the Code Council's campaign toolkit to connect with your local community and to run your own social media campaign.
Issue a Proclamation
Show your support of Building Safety Month by asking your city official to sign a proclamation.
Promotional Materials
For print copies of brochures, pencils and more, visit the ICC store.
Safety Tips
Our free safety tips for the backyard, pool, electrical appliances and disasters are available here.
Kids Corner
Download fun and educational materials for elementary school-aged children.
Code Council Members, click here.

#BuildingSafety365

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors




The Code Council thanks the sponsors of Building Safety Month.
For more information on becoming a sponsor, click here.

Global Partners

Building Safety Month started as a U.S. campaign 41 years ago. Today it’s celebrated worldwide.
Jurisdictions and organizations outside the U.S. that actively support local Building Safety Month activities include:

Today it’s celebrated worldwide. If you’d like to be an international partner, download our kit here.

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors




The Code Council thanks the sponsors of Building Safety Month.
For more information on becoming a sponsor, click here.

Global Partners

Building Safety Month started as a U.S. campaign 41 years ago. Today it’s celebrated worldwide.
Jurisdictions and organizations outside the U.S. that actively support local Building Safety Month activities include:

Today it’s celebrated worldwide. If you’d like to be an international partner, download our kit here.