Building Safety Month 2021

BSM 2021

The Department of Land Use is proud to observe Building Safety Month, an international campaign held annually in May to raise awareness about building safety. The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of regularly updated building codes, and helps individuals, families and businesses understand the best practices that keep our homes, workplaces, schools, and other structures safe.

All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from everyday disasters like fires, weather-related events such as floods, and structural collapse that follows deterioration over time of buildings of all kinds. Model building codes adopted and enforced by well-trained, professional code officials are society’s best way of protecting each other.  

This year’s campaign, “Prevent, Prepare, Protect,” encourages all Americans 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. 

WHPresident Biden Declares May 2021 as National Building Safety Month!


Read the proclamation here. 

BSM video cap Opens in new window

Click graphic above to view 2021 Building Safety Month video

Week #1 Focus: Energy and Innovation

Energy fuels oBSM_Week_1ur lives - households, businesses and society in general. Yet, energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions can pose significant challenges to communities, homeowners and renters, and business owners.

Green building and sustainable construction strategies reinforce the societal health, life and safety benefits that building codes offer, providing resilience to natural disasters, a changing climate, resource consumption and management, and service interruptions due to unforeseen events. These tools can also aid occupant comfort and health, save money and preserve resources during the design, construction and operation of buildings. Many homeowners, businesses and building professionals have voluntarily sought to incorporate green and sustainable building strategies into their projects, and a number of systems have been developed to guide green building practices. (International Code Council)

Resources:


Week #2 Focus: Training the Next Generation

BSM_Week_2

Well-trained, motivated building safety professionals are key to creating and maintaining a successful built environment. Training is important because it helps code officials avoid mistakes and accidents and properly enforce the code. 

The building safety field encompasses a wide gamut of specialties and offers many excellent career opportunities that contribute to the safety of the built environment. 

Land Use boasts a talented and dedicated team of public servants including: Building Officials, Building Inspectors, Plans Reviewers, Permit Technicians, and a resourceful team of Customer Service professionals all of whom are eager to share knowledge.  

Check mark 2
Did you know?  Land Use staff collectively hold 194 certifications and/or licenses which ensure they are keeping up with the latest innovations in the building industry!


With 80% of code professionaHogson VoTech Studentsls retiring in the next 15 years, educating today’s youth is more important now than ever. As a result, Land Use partnered with Paul M. Hodgson Vocational Technical High School to implement the International Code Council (ICC) High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP).   The program helps students gain building code knowledge that goes hand-in-hand with practical training for the workplace and opens the doors to future career opportunities.  

As a result, Hodgson Vo-Tech became the first school in New Castle County and the 45th nationwide to join the program during the 2018-2019 school year.  After completion of the prestigious training program, 15 students took the final exam and passed with a score of 80% or better! It is our goal to expand HSTTP to all New Castle County technical schools and Delaware Technical and Community College in the near future.   

Get the kids involved!BSM Kids

Meet CODiE.  He’s here to help you learn about building safety.  Download and complete the exercises in the Activity Book below – ask your parents to review them with you. You can download all the activities at once or one by one, in accordance with Building Safety Month’s weekly themes. 

Once you’re done, you will have officially completed your training and earned your certificate as a Junior Code Official!

Week #3 Focus: Swimming Pool and Backyard Safety


Pool ICC Opens in new window

During warm weather seasons, homeowners and renters should take the time to check their outdoor areas for potential safety hazards. Proper inspections now can help to keep your family and friends safe in the future.

Nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death for children under the age of five. Practice constant, adult supervision around any body of water, including pools and spas. And, if you're considering a swimming pool purchase, contact the NCC Department of Land Use first to determine exactly what permits are needed and what requirements you must follow.

Check out the International Code Council’s interactive map to learn more about pool and backyard safety by clicking on the picture to the left.   



Additional Resources:

Week #4 Focus: Disaster Preparedness


Natural disasters are increashurricane 2020ing in severity and frequency. Advance planning for devastating events like hurricanes, floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, wildfires and earthquakes helps individuals and communities increase the health and safety of their population during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services and supports a faster recovery in the aftermath of a disaster.

In August 2020, New Castle County was hit with Hurricane Isaias which caused significant damage to many homes and small businesses. The Land Use Team worked extensively to both assess and repair storm damage caused by the hurricane and subsequently by severe thunderstorms that followed the next few days. Building Inspectors and Code Enforcement Inspectors assessed storm damage at over 120 homes and structures throughout the county.

The hardest hit arehurricane 2020 2as included the subdivisions of Amberwood, Brennan Estates, Summit Bridge Farms, Estates of Cedar Land, Brick Mill Farms, and several individual locations in the Townsend area.  Approximately 60% received minor damage related to blown off exterior coverings (e.g. shingles, siding, facias, etc.).  However, forty (40) properties were determined to be either unsafe for occupancy or had a portion of the structure restricted for use due to limited damage.  

Two ways you can help our community prepare for potential disasters is to build to the latest codes and to prepare your family before and emergency occurs. 


Additional Resources:

Safety Checklists for Residents

Learn more below!

Building Safety Month Proclamation

NCC Building Safety Month

Building Safety Month Proclamation

IMG_0635