April 29, 2013

2013 Building Safety Week

Batavia, OH – Clermont County Commissioners designated May 20th through 26th as Building Safety Week.  Building Safety Week is a nationwide public awareness effort offered each year to help individuals, families and businesses to understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. The effort reinforces the need for building codes, code enforcement and a professional workforce of designers and builders necessary to maintain the system of safety.

Fire Safety & Awareness: Residential fires cause thousands of deaths, injuries and property damage annually. Fire prevention is the best method for fire safety. Be prepared, develop a fire safety plan with two routes of egress from every room, and designate an outdoor meeting place.  Install and maintain a smoke alarm on every level of your home, in each bedroom and in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms, replace batteries every six months.

Disaster Safety & Mitigation: Deaths, injuries and property destruction can occur no matter where you live, everyone is at risk from natural disasters.  Lessons from disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires make us appreciate the powers of nature. As communities endure the disasters, it helps emergency responders, code officials and design professionals better prepare and plan for possible future events.

Prepare Your Family: Develop a family disaster plan, include a list of supplies needed for all family members. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, deeds, personal papers, and important phone numbers. Taking shelter or moving to higher ground is critical in times of disaster; designate an appropriate place in your home, place of employment, or another location to go when disaster strikes. Review your plan regularly, if you make changes, update it immediately.

Flood Prevention: Devastating floods occur throughout the U.S. every year.  If you are building or remodeling your home in a flood hazard area consider preventative measures such as elevating the structure above flood levels, wet flood proofing, which allows flood water to flow through the structure by installing flood vent openings in the foundation or dry flood proofing, which prevents floodwaters from entering a building.

Tornados and High Winds: A properly built, storm shelter or safe room can protect your family. A closet, bathroom, laundry or even an outdoor room like a garden shed or pool house can be enhanced to serve as a safe room.  A safe room designed to meet standards set forth by the National Storm Shelter Association, the Ohio Building Code and FEMA requirements, will withstand the most intense tornadoes and hurricanes.

Wildfires: Wildfires spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. You can protect your home by clearing at least 30 feet around your home, or 50 feet if you reside in a heavily wooded area. Keep plants at least 12 to 18 inches away from the house and use fire-resistant decking materials.  Install only Class A, B or C rated roof assemblies, use of non-combustible materials such as fire retardant shakes, slate, clay tile or metal roof coverings are good choices.

Backyard & Pool Safety: As families enjoy outdoors activities during spring and summer, special precautions should be taken to ensure that outdoor areas are safe. If you’re considering building a swimming pool know that permits are required. In-ground and above-ground pools must be surrounded by a fence or other barrier at least four feet high. All gates must be self-closing and self-latching. Use a cover for the pool when it is not in use.  Make sure drain covers are properly fitted or have vacuum suction releases to prevent entrapment.  Designate a grilling area; do not grill below covered roof areas or next to house walls. Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use.

For questions regarding permits, please call the Clermont County Permit Central office at 513-732-7213. Staff is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30 p.m. or visit www.permit.clermontcountyohio.gov.                                   

 

Article prepared by Permit Central Staff

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