The National Building Safety Month 2017
As you might know, May is a special month for construction experts. Why is that? Well, it’s National Building Safety Month! This mean May offers a specific opportunity for anyone involved in the construction industry to promote building safety. But if you haven’t heard of this month before, or want to know more — do not worry. At GoFetchCode we’ve done some research and provide you with provide a quick overview of the Building Safety Month and related initiatives.
What is the Building Safety Month?
So what does this month entail? The Building Safety Month is an annual event created by a GoFetchCode partner, the International Code Council. The month is founded to promote building safety among citizens, families and all kinds of organizations and businesses. Every year, the Building Safety Month has one overarching theme and one subtheme per week. These themes focus on one or more aspects of building safety and building codes. 2017 Building Safety Month’s theme is:
“Code Officials— Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth”
At the moment of writing, it’s week 4 of the 2017 Building Safety Month, which revolves around Investing in Technology for Safety, Energy & Water Efficiency. Last week featured the theme Manage the Damage – Preparing for Natural Disasters, while week one and two featured Mentoring the Next Generation of Building Professionals and Building Design Solutions for All Ages respectively.
Thousands of businesses and NGOs all over the country have set up projects and programs to promote building safety. For instance, Henderson and Clark County in Nevada run amnesty programs as part of the Building Safety Month. This means that homeowners that disclose building projects to their homes in the month May without acquiring the right permits, will not have to pay any penalties. Another example is provided by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), who together with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) initiated the DisasterSmart program. This initiative seeks to advance disaster resilience by educate governmental leaders from all levels of government.
As these examples illustrate, a great variety of organizations have set up initiatives to promote building safety. But another type of initiative that needs to be mentioned here is the Building Safety Month proclamation.
Building Safety Month Proclamations
Every year, a number of governors, mayors and other government officials issue a proclamation or statement in which they recognize Building Safety Month and its importance. These proclamations are often worded similarly as the sample Building Safety Month Proclamation. In short, such proclamations affirm the importance these government officials attach to building safety and provide an important signal to their constituents. Almost all states and a large number of counties and cities have issued such a statement — to see if your state or local jurisdiction has issues a Building Safety Month Proclamation, take a look at the ICC’s website.
Promoting Building Codes as Agents of Building Safety
It may be clear that this month also indirectly promotes the use of Building Codes. Specifically, Building Codes are one of the main tools to make buildings safer, which is in line with what this month stands for. This month allows us to think about what might happen if buildings are not up to code and signifies the importance of building codes to everyone involved. After all, organizations, families and individuals have a lot to gain by (keep) working with their local versions of a building code and related publications such as building code references. In this sense, this month simply serves as a reminder. Specifically, it reminds us of the question: Are my buildings and construction projects up to code? At GoFetchCode we realize the importance of this question, and in our view, it’s a question that cannot be asked too often.