The International Code Council is grateful for the companies and organizations that are making building safety a priority by sponsoring 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.
Founded in 1918, the American Gas Association (AGA) represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. Today, more than 68 million residential, commercial and industrial customers across the nation receive their reliable, affordable supplies of natural gas from AGA members—and natural gas meets almost a quarter of America’s energy needs. www.aga.org
Virtual Webinar Sponsor
The American Concrete Institute is a leading authority and resource worldwide for the development, dissemination, and adoption of its consensus-based standards, technical resources, educational & training programs, certification programs, and proven expertise for individuals and organizations involved in concrete design, construction, and materials, who share a commitment to pursuing the best use of concrete. ACI has more than 100 chapters, 240 student chapters, and 30,000 members spanning over 120 countries. ACI’s focus on the development of code requirements and global adoption and use of ACI knowledge, will assist industry professionals globally in the design of concrete structures. www.concrete.org
LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – is a powerhouse of workers who build state-of-the-art infrastructure. LIUNA members are a skilled and experienced union workforce trained to work safely in the construction and energy industries. Members build infrastructure – from roads, bridges, and transit to schools and skyscrapers. They are certified to install rainwater catchment systems and trained to build water and sewer systems. Members also work in every area of the energy sector, helping to build solar plants, wind farms, and natural gas and oil pipelines, as well as, being skilled in the maintenance of nuclear and coal power plant facilities. www.liuna.org
Simpson Strong-Tie is the world leader in structural product solutions–solutions that not only help customers, but help make structures safer and stronger. The company is recognized as the genuine connector brand in the residential construction industry, and also for its ever-expanding offering of shearwalls, moment frames and fasteners. In the last two decades, the company has expanded further with products for infrastructure, commercial and industrial construction, including mechanical anchors, adhesives and products that repair, protect and strengthen concrete and masonry. www.strongtie.com
Hi! I’m CODiE. Welcome to Kids Corner. I’m here to help educate you about building safety. Download and complete the exercises in the Activity Book below – ask your parents to review them with you. You can download all the activities at once or one by one, in accordance with Building Safety Month’s weekly themes. Once you’re done, you will have officially completed your training and earned your certificate as a Junior Code Official!
Spread the world about Building Safety Month, the importance of building safety and the role of the code official by engaging with your followers on social media. Make sure to use the official Building Safety Month hashtag #BuildingSafety365 on all your posts.
Join the Twitter #CODEversation. Every week we’ll post a series of questions related to each weekly theme throughout Building Safety Month. We want to hear from you!
How can you join the #CODEversation?
Follow @IntlCodeCouncil on Twitter to get notifications and tweeted questions related to the weekly theme throughout May.
Provide helpful resources while replying to help gain more awareness to the topic being covered in the #CODEversation.
Retweet the #CODEversation tweets to your colleagues and friends to help spread awareness of some of the topics building safety professionals like you are discussing.
Be sure to share any photos, news items or information about your virtual engagement in the Building Safety Month campaign on social media with the hashtag #BuildingSafety365.
The International Code Council thanks our chapters and jurisdictions across the nation that proclaim
Building Safety Month. Each year, governors, mayors, county executives and other officials sign proclamations,
official statements and letters of recognition.
This year, the Code Council offers an easy option for submitting your proclamation. If you are a chapter
and would like to use our template, you can simply click below, fill out the pertinent information needed
on our online form, upload your chapter logo or seal, and a downloadable digital copy
of your proclamation will be submitted.
If you are a jurisdiction or other entity and would like to submit a proclamation with your own wording,
you can upload the document to our website directly by using the same form (see header that says, "Upload or
Generate a Proclamation"). We invite you to upload a clear photo from the proclamation signing ceremony
as well (see header that says, "Ceremony Image").
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.
A 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.
A 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
Download 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!
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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
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.