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Building Safety Week – May 2-6, 2023

Building safety week takes place on the first week of May every year and runs from May 2 to 6. It stands as an International campaign to help raise awareness about the importance of the safety of buildings by implementing and abiding by safety codes to keep the public safe. It is observed globally and is promoted by the International Code Council, its 64,000 members, alongside professionals from building, design, safety communities, governments, and corporations. They all have a common goal: to promote building safety and to do so through events, briefings, and more.

History of Building Safety Week

Building Safety Week stresses the importance of occupying safe buildings as the general public lives, works, or plays there. Having buildings that are not up to standard would lead to losing lives, property, and finances. This could have a ripple effect on other things as well. The implementation of building codes can be traced as far back as 2000 B.C., during the reign of Hammurabi, the founder of the ever-popular Babylonian empire, which was known for its magnificent structure.

The U.S. first established building codes in 1625 to address fire safety and specific materials as coverings for roofs which were an issue with rampant fire outbreaks. By 1630, Boston scrapped the use of chimneys made from wood and roof coverings made of thatch in a bid to curb fire outbreaks as well. This led to 1788 being the year that saw the first formal building code written in the U.S., in Salem to be precise, a place known for its fires. More Cities followed suit to establish building codes in the early 1800s. New Orleans became the first city in 1865 to enact a law that required the inspection of public places.

Plumbing regulations became more prominent in 1880, and elevator and hoist regulations in 1883. Steel frames soon emerged in that decade and paved the way for tall buildings and skyscrapers. The theme of Building Safety Week in 2022, “Safety for All: Building Codes in Action,” encourages the masses to raise awareness about the importance of safe and resilient construction, fire prevention, disaster mitigation, energy conservation, water safety, training the next generation, and new technologies in the construction industry.

Building Safety Week timeline

2000 B.C.
The Building Codes are First Used

Building codes are first used in Babylon — one of the most complex architectural sites in the world.

1625
The U.S. Uses Building Codes

Building codes are used for the first time in the U.S. to curb fire outbreaks.

1788
The First Formal Building Code Is Written

The U.S. writes its first formal building code in Salem.

1915
The First National Building Code Is Written

The Building Office and Code Administration (B.O.C.A.) is formed to develop the U.S.’s first national building code.

Building Safety Week FAQs

How long has I.C.C. been celebrating Building Safety Month?

It has been celebrated for 41 years

What types of buildings are there?

Some types are residential buildings, educational buildings, business buildings, institutional buildings, etc.

What is the purpose of a building

The primary function is to provide structurally sound and environmentally controlled spaces to house and protect occupants and contents.

How to Observe Building Safety Week

  1. Generate more awareness

    Spread the word on Building Safety Week, so the public knows more about it. When the public learns more about laws guiding their safety, they will take their safety seriously.

  2. Educate Others

    Educate others on simple ways they can keep their home and offices safe. Fire drill measures always help people stay prepared for such a situation.

  3. Start A Social Media Campaign

    Start or join a social media campaign to get more people to understand how important Building Safety Week is. This helps to generate more awareness and education online.

5 Important Home Safety Tips

  1. Develop a family plan

    If an evacuation is ever needed, a family plan that lets everyone know where to go should be in place.

  2. Create a disaster supply kit

    Creating a disaster supply kit will allow you to remain protected in your home after a disaster or for use after evacuating to a safer location.

  3. Stay tuned to radio

    Stay tuned to the Radio and T.V. for official updates on critical weather information.

  4. Use surge protective devices

    Use Surge Protective Devices (S.P.D.) to protect electronic appliances from electrical surges in your home.

  5. Create a tornado safe room

    Build a tornado-safe room in your home to get the highest level of protection for you and your family against tornados.

Why Building Safety Week is Important

  1. It spreads awareness

    Building Safety Week spreads awareness of the importance of following the regulations concerning building safety. In addition, people get to know about building codes, which they probably would not have delved into.

  2. It reduces financial loss

    Financial losses like building collapse are significantly reduced when people are educated on building safety. This helps a building owner to save more money.

  3. It saves lives

    The knowledge of building safety codes by everyone helps to save lives. Electrical wiring, flood prevention, and a host of other measures that can lead to loss of lives would be catered for better if not done well.

Building Safety Week dates

YearDateDay
2023May 2Tuesday
2024May 2Thursday
2025May 2Friday
2026May 2Saturday
2027May 2Sunday

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