Building Safety Month

Two men working on constructing a building

May is Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month is a month-long celebration of all aspects of building safety that helps families, employers and leaders understand and appreciate the best practices that keep the places where we live, work and play, safe.

Building codes help protect citizens from avoidable tragedies 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.

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2024 Building Safety Month

Join the Building Division in recognizing May 2024 as Building Safety Month, featuring the month-long theme of “Mission Impossible!” Each year, professionals across the building safety discipline participate in this educational and interactive campaign designed to highlight the importance of building codes. Building codes are vital to our modern environments as they ensure the safety of our spaces.

Week 1: Understanding the Mission

Evidence of "building safety" is all around us. From an individual level, building safety can include installing smoke alarms in your house or giving portable heaters at least three feet of space. From a community level, building safety can include adopting modern building codes or enacting sustainability initiatives.

Remember, building safety is a comprehensive mission that is only possible when we work together for positive change.

  • All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from hazards 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.
  • Building safety professionals, including code officials, work day in and day out to keep the public safe.
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Week 2: Preparing a Building Safety Plan

Modern homes and buildings incorporate the latest building codes and are designed to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. While building safety professionals help maintain this system, there are preventative tasks that all contribute to occupant health, occupant safety and security and overall sustainability (more on this in the last section).

Here we've listed a few brief fire safety tips, and be sure to also download and review our guides on home fire, electrical and water safety below.

  • Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom.
  • Test each smoke alarm regularly. Keep batteries fresh by replacing them annually.
  • Make an escape plan so everyone knows how to get out fast. Pick a meeting place outside the home where everyone will meet.
  • Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away.
  • Keep all items that can burn away from your home, clean leaves from your gutters and clear dead leaves and branches from shrubs and trees.
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Week 3: Learning from the Pros

Building safety professionals are the silent defenders of public safety. They provide guidance and advice to architects, engineers and contractors to help them bring building projects to life while ensuring safety for occupants and residents. Building safety professionals also help keep existing buildings safe by conducting inspections and adopting the latest building codes.

Building safety professionals:

  • Include building inspectors of all kinds, building officials, plans examiners, permit technicians, fire marshals and more.
  • Train constantly to keep up with the latest codes and standards.
  • Enforce code compliance to empower and educate partners to embrace and integrate safety standards in their work.
  • Ensure that buildings are constructed to withstand the stress of everyday use.
  • Perform safety checks that protect your home from emergencies before fire, flood or disaster strike.
  • Support economic development by making our buildings sturdier, and therefore longer lasting.
  • Play a significant role in community planning decision-making as a connection between government, business and built environment partners.
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Week 4: Engaging Your Community

We all have a part to play in making sure the places where we live, work and play are safe for not only ourselves, but our family, friends and neighbors, too. Be the change you'd like to see in your community by speaking up about building safety. From reaching out to your local media, to advocating for building safety to local leadership, even the smallest action can ultimately save lives. Here we've included education and advocacy tips, as well as "Press Release" and "Letter to the Editor" templates that are easily editable and shareable.

  • Talk to your network about building safety and share fact-based information and resources on your social media accounts.
  • Share news releases with your local newspapers, radio stations and television networks to encourage local media to cover stories related to building safety.
  • Share building safety information or concerns with your public information officer, city manager or mayor.
  • Plan community events to raise awareness or attend local events about building safety.
  • Contact the code officials in your area to learn more about the building industry and discover local volunteer opportunities.
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Week 5: Celebrating Success in Building Safety

In-person and virtual learning events for Building Safety Month are an effective way to help raise the profile of building safety professionals and the work they do in our communities, and highlight how building codes help keep us all safe. We want to
hear from code professionals, building departments, teachers and community members like you on how you’re celebrating building safety!

  • In-person Building Safety Month events can range from educational events or construction site walkthroughs, to mock inspections or classroom presentations at a local school.
  • Virtual Building Safety Month events are easy to set up, more cost-effective, and can be attended from the comfort of home.
  • Proclamation signing events are a great way to raise awareness for building safety in your community. Click here to submit a proclamation, and don’t forget to take pictures!
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