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Safety First: May Marks Building Safety Month

Throughout the month of May, the International Code Council Foundation (ICCF) is celebrating its 31st annual Building Safety Month. The public awareness campaign seeks to create community-wide recognition and understanding of building safety and sustainability, and the critical role of codes and code officials in protecting people and communities.

The International Code Council Foundation (ICCF) is a subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and accredited standards developer dedicated to building safety, fire prevention, and energy efficiency. Many ICC codes and standards serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for nations outside the United States.

Safety Snapshot

A quick look at several standards from the ANSI Federation that support building safety:

  • From exit markings to public address systems, NFPA 5000-2009, Building Construction and Safety Code, 2009 Edition, outlines requirements to protect building occupants and minimize danger to life and property. This standard was published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

  • An American National Standard from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), ANSI/ASSE A10.8, Scaffolding Safety Requirements, establishes safety requirements for the construction, operation, maintenance, and use of scaffolds in construction.

  • ASHRAE Guideline 29-2009, Guideline for the Risk Management of Public Health and Safety in Buildings, addresses aspects of building performance that affect occupant health and safety, including egress; chemical, biological, and radiological protection; fire protection; smoke removal or purging; filtration; and air quality. The standard was developed by ASHRAE.

According to ICCF, countless accidents occur in homes across the U.S. and globally where codes are poorly understood or used improperly. To help consumers take practical steps to lead healthier, safer lives, ICCF has created an online resource that provides a comprehensive toolkit on safety and building codes, an interactive educational site for children, and helpful tips for making homes, schools, and other buildings healthier for all.

"Building safety codes are often taken for granted, but they are incredibly necessary, and the foundation upon which healthy, secure homes and buildings are built," said Richard P. Weiland, ICCF Board of Governors and CEO of the International Code Council. This year, Building Safety Month will focus on four core themes:

Energy and Green Building
The first week will spotlight advancements in sustainable design and building. Consumers can learn low-cost ways to make existing homes more efficient, long-term strategies for long-term savings, and tips on building green in new construction.

Disaster Safety and Mitigation
The recent disaster in Japan shined a spotlight on the importance of adhering to stringent building codes. During week two of Building Safety Month, consumers will learn how to prepare their homes to be safer from earthquakes, tornados, and other natural disasters.

Fire Safety and Awareness
The third week will focus on the critical issue of fire safety. In addition to encouraging safe use of smoke detectors, candles, and home fireplaces, consumers will learn safety tips about gas and electronic appliances.

Backyard Safety
With summer barbeques and summer outdoor parties just around the corner, the final week of Building Safety Month reminds homeowners of the "dos and don'ts" of installing, operating, and maintaining outdoor appliances.

For more information, visit


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]