Coalition Promotes Code Officials' Role in Safety

A national group calling itself the "Raise the Profile" Coalition, comprised of building safety professionals, trade associations, manufacturers, consumers, and others, says it has committed to a long-term effort that will focus on informing the public, industry, and elected officials about the important role code officials play in improving the level of safety in the built environment.

The coalition includes the American Association of Code Enforcement, Institute for Business & Home Safety, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, International Association of Fire Chiefs - Fire & Life Safety Section, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials, International City/County Management Association, International Code Council, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

Throughout the United States and around the world, people have sustained injuries, death, and economic loss because of unsafe buildings and systems. These losses are successfully minimized through the application of and ongoing enhancements to codes and standards (building, electrical, fire, HVAC, plumbing, property maintenance, zoning, environmental, etc.) and a regulatory system to administer them, the group noted in an Aug. 28 press release.

The application of contemporary codes has dramatically improved the level of safety in buildings and their environs, the group says. To maintain and enhance the level of safety America has today, the “Raise the Profile” Coalition advocates continuing improvements.

Key to building safety is the code official who reviews plans, issues permits, and inspects the work and property for code compliance, the group notes. The public in many industrialized nations has an expectation of building safety that is taken for granted--a testament to the safety of buildings today, according to the coalition. However, lack of knowledge about why buildings are safe has resulted in little public awareness about the important role that code officials play in their everyday lives. This lack of awareness hinders public safety agencies from achieving higher levels of compliance, and even safer communities. One of the coalition's primary objectives thus is to raise the profile of code officials by highlighting the role(s) they play in making buildings healthier, more comfortable, increasingly efficient, and safer.

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