The City of Hagerstown will participate in the 40th annual Building Safety Month in May, a worldwide campaign presented by the International Code Council, its members, and partners to promote building safety. This year’s initiative, “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World,” highlights the importance of building codes ensuring a strong and resiliently-built environment in which regularly updated codes assure communities are protected in case of disasters.
As communities prepare for the increased severity and greater frequency of natural disasters and the danger posed by fire in dense settlements, building safety is of paramount importance. Disaster mitigation through the adoption and enforcement of building codes is one of the simplest ways for communities to prepare for and protect against future disasters. Homes and buildings constructed in compliance with building safety codes, and under the oversight of the officials who enforce them, are essential to the effort to minimize the risks of death, injury, and property damage in the event that a disaster strikes a community.
The designated weekly themes for this year’s Building Safety Month are: Disaster Preparedness (May 1-10), Water Safety (May 11-17), Resiliency, Sustainability, Innovation (May 18-24), and Training the Next Generation (May 25-31).
The men and women who serve as building safety and fire prevention experts are essential to the well-being of all communities. By inspecting buildings and reviewing construction plans, they ensure proper code compliance that translates into safe places to live, work, and play.
With an extensive history dating back to 1754 B. C. and the Code of Hammurabi, King of the Babylonian Empire, building codes have served as a protective shield for the public for thousands of years. The regulation of building construction in the United States dates back to the 1700s. In Hagerstown, that regulation began in 1904, pre-dating the creation of the first national building code by one year. Today, the International Codes, developed by the Code Council and implemented by our community, are the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in existence.
Find out more about Building Safety Month at www.hagerstowncode.org, or join the conversation on social media by using #BuildingSafety365.