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Indiana State Officials Focus on Building Safety May 4-10

May 6, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Governor Mike Pence has declared the week of May 4-10 as Building Safety Week, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is reminding Hoosiers how building inspections help with Hoosier safety.

The Fire and Building Safety Division of IDHS is responsible for inspecting thousands of public structures a year, including schools, child care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants, office buildings and hotels.

“Building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, engineers and all those in the construction industry, work year-round to ensure the places we live, learn, work, worship and play are safe,” said Dean Illingworth of IDHS’s Division of Fire and Building Safety. “Countless lives have been saved due to the implementation of building and fire safety codes by state and local code officials.”

Homes and buildings that are built in compliance with building safety codes result in resilient structures that minimize the risks of death, injury and property damage. Regardless of the department code officials work in—building, fire, planning or elsewhere—they work hard every day to provide public safety by ensuring buildings are constructed safely. Because resilient structures minimize the risk of property damage, property owners may pay lower insurance costs and millions of taxpayer dollars can be saved when rebuilding from natural disasters.

Hoosiers can make the places they live safer by taking simple steps. A few are:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home.
  • Test smoke alarms each month and change the batteries at least once a year.
  • Develop a family action plan for a disaster, and include an escape plan from every room in the house in case of a fire.
  • Use surge protective devices to protect electronic appliances.
  • Routinely check the condition of electrical appliances and wiring for damage.
  • To avoid damage and injuries during an earthquake, hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, or anywhere people sit, and store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass and fine dinner ware, in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Retrofit an interior room to be a safe room, which can withstand up to 250 mile per hour winds.

Building Safety Week is part of a larger National Building Safety Month. This year’s theme is Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks. Weekly themes during Building Safety Month are: May 5-11, Code Officials: Keeping Fire in its Place; May 12-18, Code Officials: Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm; May 19-25, Code Officials: Surround Your House with Safety; and May 26-31, Code Officials: Building a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow.

You can view the Governor’s proclamation at