By Alyssa Schnugg
This May, the city of Oxford will participate in the 41st annual Building Safety Month,
the worldwide campaign presented by the International Code Council, its members and partners to promote building safety.
This year’s campaign, “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save” highlights the importance of building codes in providing a strong and resilient final product, with regularly updated codes ensuring that communities are protected in the face of disasters.
As citizens prepare themselves for the increased severity and frequency of natural disasters, building safety has become even more important. Disaster mitigation through the adoption and strict enforcement of building codes is one of the best ways for our community to prepare and protect against future disasters.
Homes and buildings that are built in compliance with building safety codes, and the men and women who enforce these codes, are essential for helping communities minimize the risks of death or serious injury in the event of a disaster.
“The men and women who serve as building safety and fire prevention experts are hidden heroes to our community,” said Oxford Building Official Chris Carter. “They inspect buildings and review construction plans to ensure code compliance and to ensure the places where you live, work, and play are safe.”
Building codes have protected the public for thousands of years, with record of codes as far back as 2200 B.C. and the Code of Hammurabi, king of the Babylonian Empire. Today, the International Codes, developed by the International Code Council and adopted by the Oxford community, are the most widely used and adopted set of building and fire safety codes in the U.S. and around the world.
This year’s campaign themes are:
- Week 1, Fire Safety
- Week 2, Training the Next Generation
- Week 3, Water Safety
- Week 4 Disaster Preparedness
The Oxford Building Department has collaborated with the Oxford Fire Department to host some events to celebrate Building Safety Month. These events include live burns to demonstrate the rapid spread of fire; live burns to demonstrate the effectiveness of fire sprinklers; fire safety obstacle courses at local elementary schools and more.
On May 6 and 7, the Building and Fire Departments will visit Central Elementary School Washington Avenue to host an outdoor, fire safety-themed obstacle course for the kids. On Friday there will be a live demonstration where two small structures will be built and placed on site. One of the buildings will be equipped with an automatic fire sprinkler.
“We will ignite both buildings to show how fast a fire can spread as well as how fire sprinklers are an effective safety component,” Carter said.
The demonstration will be performed at Lafayette County schools on May 11-14.