May is Building Safety Month – What You Should Know

Building Safety Month occurs every May and is a campaign to raise awareness in your community about the safety of buildings. This includes buildings for residents and businesses who rely on the safety of their dwellings. The campaign will create public awareness about what to do in an emergency, how to prevent certain things from occurring, abiding by all building codes and having safe building construction as well as additional upkeep. Many businesses use the month of May as a way to re-visit building codes and be sure everything is working properly.


The International Code Council along with their 50,000 members present the Building Safety Month campaign each year.


Building Safety Month Schedule


The campaign has a schedule for all four weeks of May. The first week typically covers energy efficiency and being more environmentally friendly in your building, design and components.

During the second week, expect information about disaster safety and mitigating certain disasters, followed by fire safety and awareness during the third week. The fourth and final week of May will be about outdoor and backyard safety.


Safety Tips


The following are tips to follow and learn about during the Building Safety Month campaign. They don’t cover everything to properly secure your building, but is a good start to being prepared.


  •  Install one smoke alarm in every room of your home and every level of your office building. Check the alarm often to be sure the batteries are intact and it is working properly.
  •  Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your building in the hallway of each rest area and replace the batteries once a year.
  •  Always keep your hallways and entryways clear to avoid accidents and injury. Never block an emergency exit or window.
  •  Develop a fire escape plan in your home and office building and be sure all household members or employees know how to get to the closest emergency exit.


Promoting Building Safety Month


There are several ways you can get involved and help promote the importance of building safety month. Be involved in your community and show local businesses why they should practice safety in their buildings for the month of May. For example, you can post information about building safety month on your website, write a blog post, give a presentation at a local school or organization, provide information and demonstrations at local hardware stores, promote it through Chapter activities, and write a news release to different media outlets.


Abiding by Building Codes


Building Safety Month is the perfect time to become familiar with the current building codes and what their importance is. It may seem like an inconvenience to follow these codes, but they help keep your building and visitors safe. Not only that, but certain types of insurance, like flood insurance, require you to follow codes in order to qualify. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has specific codes and requirements to get flood insurance, which includes participating in the Community Rating System (CRS).


Take the time during the month of May to review your building codes and secure your building in every way you can. Aside from making it a safe place for residents and employees, you should also obtain insurance including property insurance and general liability insurance. This offers additional protection for unexpected events you couldn’t prevent.