Thursday, April 27, 2017

May is Building Safety Month

By Scott Slatton, legislative and public policy advocate
May is designated as Building Safety Month to recognize of all aspects of building safety. This recognition helps residents, employers and policymakers understand and appreciate the best practices that keep safe the places where we live, work and play. 

City councils around the state are passing proclamations recognizing Building Safety Month. 

Homes and buildings that are built in compliance with building safety codes result in safe structures that minimize the risks of death, injury and property damage. 

Regardless of the department code officials work in — building, fire, planning or elsewhere — they provide public safety by ensuring buildings are constructed safely.

Because safe structures minimize the risk of property damage, property owners may pay lower insurance costs and councils may save millions of taxpayer dollars when rebuilding from natural disasters.

Based on building science, technical knowledge and past experiences, model building codes provide protection from man-made and natural disasters, guarding public health and reducing property losses. The codes address all aspects of construction, from structural to fire prevention, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency.

Building codes have protected the public for thousands of years. The earliest known code of law — the Code of Hammurabi, king of the Babylonian Empire, written circa 2200 B.C. — severe penalties, including death, if a building was not constructed safely.

The regulation of building construction in the United States dates back to the 1700s. In the early 1900s, the insurance industry and others with similar concerns developed the first model building code.
In South Carolina, the Building Officials Association of SC was formed in 1951 so that building officials could exchange ideas, discuss problems and promote safety for life, health and property. In 2017, BOASC joined with the Municipal Association of SC to become its newest affiliate organization
The Municipal Association of SC helps BOASC continue its mission by providing training opportunities, advocating for better legislation and helping develop a model ordinance that all cities and towns can use. This recent article in Columbia Business Monthly looks at BOASC’s work to train building officials.

No comments:

Post a Comment