Building a Safe Community: How Residents, Local Governments, and Builders Can Work TogetherMay 4, 2023
Building safety is a critical issue in every community. The safety of homes, buildings, and other structures impacts the well-being of everyone who lives or works in those buildings. That is why National Building Safety Month is a time to help raise awareness about the importance of building codes and encourage people to improve safety in their communities.
Building codes are designed to ensure that structures are built to withstand the forces of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. They also ensure that buildings are safe from fire, electrical hazards, and other hazards that can harm people and damage property.
Residents, local governments, contractors, and stakeholders all have important roles to play in ensuring that buildings are safe and meet necessary codes and standards.
Residents are the most important group when it comes to building safety. They need to be aware of the potential hazards in their homes and take steps to reduce their risks. Residents can take action to improve building safety in their homes by:
- Installing smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers in their homes
- Making sure that their electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, and appliances are maintained properly
- Reporting any hazards or safety concerns to their local government or building owners
- Preparing emergency plans and evacuation routes for their families in the event of a disaster
Local government staff play a critical role in building safety. Building officials and inspectors are responsible for enforcing building codes to ensure new construction and renovations meet the necessary requirements. They also make sure that existing buildings are maintained properly. Inspectors can improve building safety in their communities by:
- Conducting regular inspections of buildings to ensure that they are safe and comply with the code
- Identifying potential hazards and ensuring that they are addressed
- Providing education and outreach to residents and businesses about building safety, as well as building owners and contractors about building safety
- Keeping up to date with the latest building codes and standards to ensure that they are applied correctly
Contractors are responsible for building structures that are safe and meet the necessary building code standards. They need to be knowledgeable about the latest building codes and standards to ensure that their work meets these requirements. Contractors can play a vital role in safer construction by:
- Following building codes and standards and verifying that their work meets these requirements
- Identifying potential hazards and taking steps to reduce risks
- Providing knowledge and training to their employees about building safety
- Using materials that are strong and durable and designing buildings that can resist natural hazards
Stakeholders, including building owners, insurance companies, and community organizations, also play a critical role in building safety. Building owners are responsible for maintaining their buildings and ensuring that they are safe for occupants. Insurance companies can provide incentives for building owners to reduce risks and improve safety. Community organizations can provide education and outreach to residents and businesses about building safety. Stakeholders can make a difference by:
- Maintaining their buildings and ensuring that they are safe for occupants
- Providing incentives for building owners to take steps to reduce risks and improve safety
- Encouraging businesses to schedule regular inspections and report issues in a timely manner
- Partnering with local governments, contractors, and inspectors to improve building safety in their communities
Everyone living in a community should be aware of the role they play in promoting building safety. By working together - residents, local governments, contractors, and stakeholders can make their community a safer place to live and run their businesses.
Reach out for a demo to learn more about how local government staff can use online software can streamline the inspection process and help make its community safer.