Building Safety Month 2021: “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save”

Washington, D.C. – The International Code Council announced today the theme for its 41st annual Building Safety Month. Held each year in May, the 2021 event will emphasize “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save.” With attendees’ safety top of mind, all Building Safety Month events will be held virtually this year. The educational and interactive campaign is meant to raise awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in the spaces in which we live, work and learn.

Each year, the Code Council, its 64,000 members, and professionals across the building safety landscape highlight the importance of building safety though proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings, and more.

The weekly themes for Building Safety Month are:

  • Week One (May 1-9): Energy & Innovation
  • Week Two (May 10-16): Training the Next Generation
  • Week Three (May 17-23): Water Safety
  • Week Four (May 24-31): Disaster Preparedness

With society placing greater emphasis on safety within both public and private buildings, Building Safety Month is more relevant than ever in educating the public about the increasingly important role modern building codes play in keeping our homes and communities strong and resilient,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO.

More information about Building Safety Month, including details regarding virtual events, can be found at: www.buildingsafetymonth.org.

To view and download this year’s campaign poster, click here, and follow along on social media using the hashtag #BuildingSafety365. To download resized posters for your website and social media platforms, click here.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is a nonprofit association that provides a wide range of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, certification, codification and training. It develops model codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures.

Two new International Code Council online code tools now available

Washington, D.C. – The International Code Council launched two online building code tools for building safety professionals and the public to access free information about building code usage in their communities.

Created in partnership with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) and the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the U.S. code adoption database is an interactive map that shares code adoption information at the state and local level. A one-of-a-kind U.S. code adoption tool, the database displays which codes are adopted within each state/jurisdiction and provides context and links to access further code information.

The database also contains a color-coded map for each of the fifteen International Codes (I-Codes) – the most widely used model building codes in the world – showing statewide code adoptions around the U.S.  The most current adoption information is maintained across the site through a collaboration effort between the Code Council, FLASH and ISO.

The Global Building Codes Tool provides information about the building codes and standards used in countries around the world. Users may select a country from the world map to view information about the respective building safety regulation agencies, and the building codes and standards referenced and enforced within that country. The tool is designed to help manufacturers and designers who are interested in exporting their products and services to markets outside the United States, as well as to government officials around the world who are monitoring these regulations which impact market entry. It also represents a key component of the Code Council’s Strategic Partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration.

“Building codes represent a highly cost-effective strategy to help protect communities from the risks posed by natural and man-made events,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “We are very excited to launch these two databases that provide important code information that is useful to all community stakeholders.”

A recent study published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) affirmed the significant benefits up-to-date building codes provide communities. The Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study features an in-depth look at the quantified benefits—avoided losses to buildings and building contents—from adopting modern building codes and standards. To access the full FEMA report, click here. For more Information on how building codes help communities mitigate hazard risks, click here.

Links to resources:

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

Written Comments on IECC Now Posted

Registration has closed to testify or provide written comments to the International Code Council Board of Directors related to the International Energy Conservation Code.

Legislation enacted to ensure carbon monoxide safety for federally assisted properties

Washington, D.C. – On December 27, 2020, the President signed into law new legislation that authorizes $304 million in funds for carbon monoxide detectors in federally assisted housing. The legislation ensures that carbon monoxide alarms are installed in a manner that meets the standards described in the Code Council’s 2018 International Fire Code.

The legislation is based on the Carbon Monoxide Alarms Leading Every Resident to Safety Act (CO ALERTS Act), which was introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), Joe Cunningham (D-SC), and in the Senate by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Robert Mendez (D-NJ). U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson offered his support shortly after the bill’s introduction.

The bill requires that by the end of 2022 federally assisted housing have carbon monoxide alarms in units that have potential sources of carbon monoxide such as gas-fired appliances, fireplaces, forced air furnaces, and attached garages. Carbon monoxide alarms will also be required in rural housing. Additionally, HUD will provide guidance to public housing agencies to help them educate tenants on potential housing health hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning and lead poisoning. In 2019, there were many reports  of deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in public housing complexes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50,000 people are sickened by carbon monoxide annually, resulting in 430 deaths. Of the approximately 5 million families that receive HUD rental assistance, most have young children, are elderly, or disabled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states that carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable and recommends installing carbon monoxide alarms.

“We are excited to see that the International Fire Code is being used to inform legislation that will have a crucial impact on safety in the home,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “We are proud to do our part in making homes safer for every member of society, especially the most vulnerable.”

For more information on the Code Council and the International Fire Code, please visit www.iccsafe.org.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

Development of the 2024 International Codes begins this week

Washington, D.C. – The deadline to submit proposed changes to the 2024 International Codes (I-Codes), Group A, is Monday, January 11, 2021, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. All interested parties must submit their proposals through the code development website, cdpACCESS.

The I-Codes – developed by the International Code Council – are a family of fifteen coordinated, modern building safety codes and standards used throughout the world that protect against disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse. The code change submission process marks the beginning of the code development process for the 2024 I-Codes. This process takes place every three years and is open, transparent and inclusive. All interested parties are encouraged to participate by submitting a code change proposal, testifying at the code hearings or applying for a position with a Code Development Committee.

The Group A Codes include the International Building Code (IBC-Egress, IBC-Fire Safety, IBC-General); International Fire Code; International Fuel Gas Code; International Mechanical Code; International Plumbing Code; International Property Maintenance Code; International Private Sewage Disposal Code; International Residential Code (IRC-Mechanical, IRC-Plumbing); International Swimming Pool and Spa Code; International Wildland-Urban Interface Code; and International Zoning Code.

After the code change proposals are submitted, expert committees will consider the proposed changes for recommendation at the virtual Committee Action Hearings scheduled for April 11 through May 5, 2021. The hearings offer code officials, architects, builders, engineers, designers, contractors and other interested parties the opportunity to provide input on proposed code changes to the Group A codes. In advance of the hearings, the Code Council will release the hearing schedule and post proposed code changes on Monday, March 1.

Additional resources:

  • To submit a code change proposal, visit cdpACCESS.com. Anyone can submit a code change, but registration is required. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes.
  • For more information about cdpACCESS, visit iccsafe.org/cdpaccess.
  • Questions about the Virtual Committee Action Hearings? Read our frequently asked questions webpage.
  • Download infographic about the process: How It Works.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

Provide your thoughts about the IECC

The Code Council Board of Directors is considering updating the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Ch. 11 of the International Residential Code (IRC) using the ICC standards process based on stakeholder feedback for improvement to the IECC development process.