National campaign brings awareness to life-saving capabilities of building codes
NASHVILLE – To raise public awareness of the critical role building codes play in ensuring fire and life safety, Gov. Bill Lee has declared May 2021 as Building Safety Month.
In conjunction with the gubernatorial proclamation, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) are participating in the 41st annual Building Safety Month, a worldwide campaign presented by the International Code Council (ICC), its members and partners to promote building safety. This year’s campaign, “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save,” raises awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in the spaces in which we live, work, learn and play.
Created by the ICC, Building Safety Month is an international campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of code adoption and celebrate the work of state and local codes inspectors who help ensure the safety of communities. The Tennessee SFMO is proud to join Lee and the ICC in promoting this annual campaign.
“No longer are places of residence simply a family living space, they’ve taken on the role of extended work, school, gym and entertainment centers,” said Assistant Commissioner Gary Farley. “With a greater demand to create safe cities of the future, buildings need to account for increased capacity, dangers from natural disasters and resource shortages, as well as a wide range of public safety concerns. Building Safety Month provides homeowners, government officials and the public with the necessary information for ensuring safety in the spaces where they live, work, learn and play.”
Codes officials in the SFMO’s Codes Enforcement Section, as well as those in the Electrical, Residential and Marina Inspections Section, work to ensure buildings are constructed safely and public marinas are operating safely. Building Safety Month brings recognition to the work of these professionals as they create safe, resilient, affordable and energy efficient places for Tennesseans to live, work, learn, worship and play.
In 2020, the SFMO team completed 2,866 inspections of residential buildings, issued 129,034 electrical permits, reviewed 1,042 building plans and conducted 261,015 total electrical inspections.
Additionally, the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA) offers a progressive and challenging curriculum for the testing and certification of code enforcement officials. TFACA’s state-of-the-art equipment, classrooms and recently opened conference center provide a solid foundation for individuals who are starting a career in codes enforcement or seasoned professionals looking to keep pace with updated regulations. Building codes address all aspects of construction, including fire prevention, structural integrity and energy efficiency — to name a few.
Because these structures are being built with such resiliency, the risk of loss of life and property damage is reduced, which may provide property owners with lower insurance costs and save millions of taxpayers’ dollars in the wake of natural disasters. Learn more about Building Safety Month at www.buildingsafetymonth.org.