The international campaign to raise awareness about building safety
This May the Austin Code Department (ACD) will join Development Services Department (DSD) in participating in the 41st Annual Building Safety Month, a worldwide campaign aimed at raising awareness about building safety.
This year, the theme is Prevent, Prepare, Protect, which is pertinent as we continue to prepare for the increased severity and frequency of natural disasters. Building safety is even more critical. Disaster mitigation through the adoption and enforcement of building codes is one of the best ways for communities to prepare and protect against future disasters. Homes and buildings built in compliance with building safety codes and the officials who enforce the regulations are essential to helping communities minimize the risks of death, injury, and property damage in the event of a disaster.
“Safe buildings start with solid code requirements,” said City Building Official Beth Culver. “DSD works closely with our partner departments, the development community, contractors and homeowners to make sure the buildings in our community are designed and built according to those requirements. Our community should be able to trust that any structure in Austin is built in a manner that is safe for them, their families, their customers and all who enter.” Austin Code Department and the Development Services Department (DSD) departments review buildings in Austin, from concept through construction, to ensure they reflect the safe building practices reflected in City Code.
This year’s Building Safety Month campaign themes are Week One: Energy and Innovation; Week Two: Training the Next Generation; Week Three: Water Safety; and Week Four: Disaster Preparedness.
For the past 41 years, the International Code Council (ICC) has celebrated advances in constructing safe, sustainable, affordable, and resilient buildings and homes. The ongoing support of Building Safety Month and the important role code officials play in public safety in the built environment have come from U.S. presidents, governors, mayors, county executives, other government officials, and construction industry professionals.
“Preparedness needs to be a year-round action plan because emergencies are never scheduled,” said Austin Code Department Director José G. Roig. “The best way to keep our loved ones safe is by ensuring that the space we call home is safe and sound. We encourage the public to be proactive in property maintenance and to have a productive conversation with their landlords or property managers to address property issues promptly. Our department aims to educate the public on how to identify potential code violations. The outcomes of this approach could save lives.”
About Building Safety Month
Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety. This campaign reinforces the need to adopt modern, regularly updated building codes and helps individuals, families, and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.
The International Code Council, its 64,000 members, and a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety communities come together with corporations, government agencies, professional associations, and nonprofits to promote building safety through proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings, and more. We come together to support Building Safety Month because we understand the need for safe and sustainable structures where we live, work, and play.
All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters 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.