May is National Building Safety Month
Building Safety Month - in its 38th year - is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 64,000 members across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on "what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient homes and buildings," according to the ICC website.
Important Tips From The ICC
Disaster Safety & Mitigation
- If you live in a high wind or hurricane-prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protections from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
- Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
- In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse (dead twigs, branches, etc.) fuels within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC's International Wildland-Urban Interface Code for detailed requirements.
- Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast-flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move and SUV-sized vehicle.
The theme for 2018 is Building Codes Save Lives with a focus on safer communities over the five weeks in May.
One of the topics highlighted during the third week of the month is Protecting Communities from Disasters. The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials "improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play," and this month can certainly improve that awareness and educate communities on this topic!