First line of defense against building disasters


Dear editor:

May 2020 marks the 40th year that communities around the world will celebrate Building Safety Month. With the increased frequency and severity of devastating storms, each year the importance of building safety has become a personal topic, especially for those still recovering from recent disasters.

While the destruction has uprooted many, building codes continue to protect and save lives. Building codes incorporate the latest technology and provide the safest, most resilient structures for our families and communities. The International Codes, development by the International Code Council and adopted by our community, are the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in the U.S. and around the world.

Building Safety Month was first observed in 1980. The campaign raises awareness about critical building safety issues from structural to fire prevention, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency. This year’s Building Safety Month campaign theme is “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World.” Each week of the month highlights an essential area of building safety, including Disaster Preparedness, May 1-10; Water Safety, May 11-17; Resiliency, Sustainability, Innovation, May 18-24; and Training the Next Generation, May 25-31.

The Hillsboro Building Department, a member of the Code Council, is a longtime Building Safety Month supporter and participant. We strive to educate our community the importance of codes, with the goal to build safer buildings, safer communities, and maintain positive relationships.

Code officials, plan reviewers, fire inspectors, architects, builders, engineers, design professionals, contractors and staffers in the Hillsboro Building Department are among the 64,000 members of the International Code Council that created Building Safety Month. All of us work together to provide the first line of defense against building disasters and to ensure the safety of the buildings where we all live, work and play.

Our vision for 2020 is to keep growing as a building department. We plan to have more community events to help educate the importance of building safety. Information on building plan approvals can be found at our website — — or if you have any questions, we can be reached at 937-393-5219. We are here to support our community as we expand, improve, and build.

Local activities during Building Safety Month have been postponed due to COVID-19. Although we hope later this fall we can plan another weekend at Lowes to answer any of your questions. Educational materials are available for schools and the community at large, including brochures about flood cleanup, mold prevention, green building and preparing for natural disasters. Everyone is encouraged to participate and learn about the essential safety work of the Hillsboro Building Department.

Steve Rivera

Hillsboro certified

building official

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