Orange County Spreads Awareness During Building Safety Month
Building Safety Month is an international campaign (supported by the International Code Council) that takes place in May to raise awareness about building code compliance, energy and innovation, water safety and more. Orange County has taken this opportunity to promote building safety and its related issues through a month-long social media campaign. By doing so, it is helping individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.
“We’re active during Building Safety Month because we understand the need for safe and sustainable structures where we live, work and play,” said Alan Plante, manager and building official, Orange County Division of Building Safety. “We need building codes to protect our residents from disasters such as fires, weather-related events and structural collapse.”
Due to the lingering effects of COVID, the County has done as much outreach as possible through digital platforms. “We’ve been highlighting the critical role of our communities’ protectors of public safety—our local code officials—who assure us of safe, sustainable and affordable buildings that are essential to our prosperity,” said Plante. “They work day-in and day-out to keep the public safe.”
Each week of May has focused on a particular theme, including Energy and Sustainable Development, Careers in Code, Emergency Management, and Water and Building IAQ/Safety. As a result of the campaign, the County has shared valuable (and cost-saving) information about Vision 2050 (Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings’ sustainable, comprehensive plan for the future); OUC Charge-It; Duke Energy and OUC rebates; and the U.S. Forest Service’s iTree toolkit.
The County has also provided information on the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge, part of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to move beyond the pandemic. The Challenge calls on building owners and facility managers to adopt strategies to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) for occupants and visitors.
“We’re focusing on specific initiatives and sharing that information with residents,” said Plante. “Our goal is to spread awareness and educate because this is all about safety. Following code compliance and hiring licensed contractors are critical safety factors that will provide you with peace of mind and also save you unnecessary costs in the long run.”