FRANKFORT, Ky. (5/1/13) – Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed the month of May to be “Building Safety Month in Kentucky.”
Founded by the International Code Council (ICC), the annual public awareness campaign, directed in the state by the Public Protection Cabinet’s Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction (DHBC), helps families and businesses understand the importance of sustaining safe structures and reinforces the need for modern building codes, strong code enforcement and a well-trained industry workforce.
This year's theme is “Code Officials Keep You Safe.”
Gary Feck, director of DHBC’s Division of Building Codes Enforcement, said building safety and fire prevention experts ensure that Kentucky’s buildings are safe to occupy. "Ensuring public safety is something we think about and do every day by working with building owners, design professionals, contractors and others in the construction industry."
Staff of the Division of Building Codes Enforcement reviews and approves construction documents and inspects construction projects and buildings required under the Kentucky Building Code, including commercial buildings and two-family dwellings. All single-family homes are reviewed and inspected by the local county or city building official if an inspection program exists. For those counties or cities without an inspection program, the builder is required to meet the Kentucky Residential Code and is required to obtain mechanical system inspections on new construction.
Feck notes the importance of local building inspectors to communities. “We are very grateful to have local building inspectors who participate in our Certification Program, a program that ensures our industry professionals have the knowledge and skills to administer a local inspection program effectively.
“The certification program also ensures uniform, state-wide enforcement of building codes. We are all safer because of this program,” said Feck.
For additional information on the state’s Certified Building Inspector Program, visit online at http://dhbc.ky.gov/bce/bc/Pages/certifiedinspection.aspx.
State Fire Marshal William Swope and his staff in DHBC’s Division of Fire Prevention work diligently to eliminate the potential for loss due to fire and other hazards through education, licensing and inspection programs.
“The deputy fire marshals across the state not only investigate the cause and origin of fires and explosions, but also focus on fire prevention education activities in an effort to prevent fires, which is our best defense in home fire safety,” said Swope.
Swope’s latest endeavor is to identify stakeholders and untapped resources to develop an action plan to decrease fire fatalities and increase the public’s awareness of how to prevent home fires. This informal group will meet in the near future to continue those discussions.
“I can’t underscore enough the importance of our partnerships with local fire departments and others across the state,” said Swope. “Fire prevention is serious business and we need all stakeholders to work together to spread the message of fire safety and prevention.”
Each week of Building Safety Month spotlights a specific area of building safety, including: fire safety and awareness, May 6-12; disaster safety and mitigation, May 13-19; backyard and pool safety, May 20-26; and energy and green building, May 27-31.
For additional information on Building Safety Month, visit the ICC’s website at http://www.iccsafe.org/BSM/Pages/default.aspx.
Information provided by Ricki Gardenhire
Photo by SurfKY Graphics
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