News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

City of Palo Alto to Participate in National Building Safety Month
Contact : Peter Pirnejad, Development Services Director    650-329-2349
Palo Alto, CA—The City of Palo Alto will celebrate National Building Safety Month during May with weekly themes and events throughout the month to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy-efficient homes and buildings. 

The theme for this year's public safety awareness campaign is "Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks," and it will highlight the importance of disaster-resistant building codes and standards that help build stronger and safer communities.

“When our building safety and fire prevention experts inspect buildings and review construction plans to ensure code compliance, they help to ensure the places where you live, learn, work, worship and play are safe,” said Director of Development Services Peter Pirnejad. “We work closely with homebuilders, contractors, plumbers, roofers and other construction industry trades to provide maximum public safety.”

Along with this year’s theme, the City will also observe weekly themes throughout the month: 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 Building with Safety; and May 26-31, Code Officials: Building a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow.

The public is also invited to Building Safety events throughout the month:
May 7 – Keeping Fire in its Place, Council Chambers, 6 p.m.
May 13 – Helping Homeowners Weather the Storm, Downtown Library, 6:15 p.m.
May 21 – Surround Your Building with Safety, Council Chambers, 6 p.m.
May 28 – Building a Brighter, More Efficient Tomorrow, Downtown Library, 6:15 p.m.

Building codes address all aspects of construction, from structural to fire prevention, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency. Based on building science, technical knowledge and past experiences, model building codes provide protection from man-made and natural disasters, guarding public health and reducing property losses. 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.

The use of building codes has a long history that dates back thousands of years. The earliest known code of law—the Code of Hammurabi, king of the Babylonian Empire, written circa 2200 B.C.—assessed severe penalties, including death, if a building was not constructed safely. The regulation of building construction in the U.S. dates back to the 1700s. In the early-1900s, the insurance industry and others with similar concerns developed the first model building code.

The International Code Council, a U.S.-based membership association, created Building Safety Month as a public service to promote safety in the built environment. Code Council members develop the family of International Codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities use the Council’s codes.