SEATTLE, Wash. -- When you enter a house or building, most likely you assume it is safe and was properly constructed in accordance with building codes. Fortunately, your local safety experts work hard to assure building safety and fire prevention every day. To help raise awareness of building safety, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)proudly celebrates Building Safety Month this May.
Building Safety Month is a month-long celebration of all aspects of building safety to help families, employers, and leaders understand and appreciate the best practices that keep the places where we live, work and play safe. The campaign is presented by the International Code Council and its 50,000 members worldwide, along with a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety community.
"Building codes are meant to protect us," says FEMA Region 10 Regional Administrator Ken Murphy. "The more people understand and respect building codes, the better we will build and the safer our communities will be."
In order for residents of a community to qualify for flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the community needs to maintain a minimal level of building code protection and floodplain management. If a community enforces even higher standards, they can participate in the Community Rating System (CRS) program. The CRS provides a reduction in flood insurance premium rates for property owners in communities that implement activities above and beyond the basic requirements of the NFIP. These reduced rates reflect the reduced flood risk.
Countless accidents occur in homes across the U.S. and globally where building codes are poorly understood or used improperly. Building Safety Month is an effort to help bridge these gaps and provide a broader platform to share the sphere of knowledge among architects, engineers and skilled industry veterans so that families, businesses and communities can be safe, strong and sustainable.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.