ICC Campaign Calls Code Officials ‘Unsung Heroes’
The International Code Council (ICC) is launching a campaign to spotlight the role of building code officials whose behind-the-scenes work keeps home owners and their visitors from harm — just like higher-profile police officers and fire fighters.
“It is time to raise the profile of code officials so they get the recognition they deserve as guardians of public safety,” said ICC President Wally Bailey, who also serves as the director of development and construction in Fort Smith, Ark.
Homes today are built with significantly more safety features than they were in the past due to the diligence of these unsung heroes — and their partners in the architecture, engineering and home building industries, Bailey said. Examples include smoke detectors, escape windows and stair railings — all of which are examined by code officials before an occupancy permit can be issued.
“We don’t expect the ceiling to collapse. We don’t think about the danger of fire or electrocution when a light switch is turned on. We assume the plumbing works properly and is not a health hazard. We expect heating, air conditioning and other mechanical systems to operate safely and energy efficiently. But safe buildings don’t happen by chance,” Bailey said.
“The goal is to show that strong codes and effective enforcement are what make us less vulnerable to every kind of disaster, whether natural or caused by humans. In addition to lives saved, we know that each dollar spent on mitigation saves on average $4 to $7 in recovery costs,” Bailey continued.
“When we do our jobs, nothing happens. This statement best describes the need to be proactive in our roles as public safety officials. It is the awesome commitment by all code officials, design professionals and builders with whom we work to make the public safe in the thousands of buildings where we spend most of our lives,” he said.
No date has been set for the launch of the public information campaign, but the code council is beginning to reach out to trade partners to spread the word, said ICC Public Relations Specialist Jennifer Gibson.
Additional information is available at the ICC’s Web site, or e-mail Gibson or call her at 888-ICC-SAFE.