ICC Members: Shaping the safety of the world around us — Daniel Ierley
Code professionals ensure building safety today, for a stronger tomorrow. As the individuals behind modern codes and standards, these professionals are responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of codes and standards, shaping the safety of the world around us, and serve as the safety foundation for our buildings. They don’t just ensure that buildings are constructed to withstand the stress of everyday use, they are behind the security and stability of every building. They specialize in preventative measures to help communities weather unforeseen natural disasters and ensure that first responders have less to worry about and can do their jobs safely. Code professionals are an essential piece in the building and construction puzzle and are engaged in the building process from the initial building plan to the finished product.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association with over 64,000 members dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. They protect the public through their commitment to building safety; enforce code compliance to empower and educate stakeholders across the built environment to embrace and integrate safety standards in their work; support economic development by making our buildings sturdier, and therefore longer lasting. Their knowledge, skills, and abilities impact every building, in every community.
The Code Council recognizes the importance of continuing to grow awareness of the important work that code professionals do and the impact they have, in the hopes of encouraging aspiring building safety professionals to join in on the building safety movement. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Daniel Ierley to share his experience in the industry, highlights of his professional career, and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry and the future of building safety.
Fire Protection Plan Reviewer, Asst. Fire Marshal
Prince William County Dept. Fire and Rescue
Prince William County, Virginia, United States
International Code Council member for seven years
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
Ierley: I started off as a volunteer firefighter in Prince William County, went overseas as a contract firefighter for Operation Iraqi Freedom and then Operation Enduring Freedom. When I returned home I accepted a position with the Arizona State Fire Marshal’s Office as an Inspector and progressed from that to their Plan Reviewer and then to Acting Asst. State Fire Marshal. I left that position in 2017 to return to my hometown as a member of Prince William County Fire & Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office where I remain today. I did not specifically choose a career in building safety, it really chose me. When I started it was just a job… but then it became something more to me, something to be passionate about, some way that I could continue to help my community even though running into burning buildings had passed me by at that point.
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
Ierley: Ingenuity, uncompromising integrity, empathy
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
Ierley: These individuals have helped me develop my ability to interpret the “grey areas” of the code, knowing the history of the code and using the past experience of others allows any professional in building safety to produce constant consistent results that the customer can expect and rely on.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
Ierley: As a person with his boots on the ground, so to speak, it is important to report the issues that we are having to ICC so that we can strive to make the code better each and every cycle.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
Ierley: My certifications include Fire Inspector I, II and Fire Plans Examiner.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Ierley: 15 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Ierley: Education of inspectors has increased dramatically.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Ierley: Seeing the construction industry innovate again and again leading to the innovation of building safety and code enforcement. I am always excited to see where we are going next.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Ierley: Read, read more, read code that doesn’t apply to you. Never stop learning. The moment you think you know everything you need that you need to is when things get missed.
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
Ierley: Honestly, the lack of education and understanding for the installers that we interact with. And the lack of code knowledge that the designers have. I am sure that I cannot install automatic sprinkler systems or fire alarm systems, nor would I try to, but these people are being judged solely on their knowledge of the codes.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
Ierley: I would like to get more involved in my state’s legislative process for building and fire codes.
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Ierley: Home projects, spending time with my friends and loved ones.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
Ierley: “He Worked For It”
There’s a world of opportunity in being a member of the International Code Council. Membership provides the tools to get the most out of each workday: from discounts on essential International Codes and other publications to the best prices on top-quality training and ICC certification renewals, Code Council membership helps budgets go further. Exclusive member benefits include code advice from expert technical staff as well as access to member-exclusive news and articles at the Building Safety Journal news portal. Plus, only Code Council members vote in the ICC code development process. An online Career Center allows job postings and searches for new job opportunities — all at no additional charge.
The Code Council offers numerous councils, committees, and resources to help code professionals grow and network with colleagues. Six discipline-specific Membership Councils offer members a place to come together and be a more powerful force in shaping your association, your industry, your career, and your future. Code Development Committees are an instrumental part of the ICC code development process and are responsible for the review and evaluation of code change proposals submitted to the International Codes. Professional Development Committees serve to better align the ICC education programs and certification programs to ensure that quality training is available to meet the needs of all members, customers and certification holders. Finally, the Value of the Code Official toolkit helps members to heighten awareness of the importance of code officials to their communities and to highlight the code official’s role as a helpful advocate for community safety, health and welfare, and economic development.