To raise awareness of building safety in both residential and commercial construction, the City of Westlake’s Building Department is again joining jurisdictions around the world participating in the International Code Council’s (ICC) Building Safety Month in May.
Building Safety Month is a public safety awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe, affordable and energy-efficient homes and buildings.
“This event is the largest public awareness campaign the Building Department hosts annually. Our primary goal is to educate residents, contractors and businesses of our responsibilities to the community,” said Donald Grayem, Director of Inspections and Chief Building Official for the City of Westlake. “We also want to underscore the importance of complying with building codes to ensure all construction in the city is safe, bring people into City Hall to obtain permits, and to be an easily accessible resource for construction questions.”
The ICC is a U.S.-based membership association that created Building Safety Month as a public service to promote safety in the built environment. Council members developed the family of international codes and standards used in the design, build, and compliance to construct safe, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities use the Council’s codes.
Different Topics Each Week Highlight Vital Information
The 2017 theme is Code Officials – Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth. Each week focuses on a specific theme during the month: Mentoring the Next Generation of Building Professionals; Building Design Solutions for All Ages; Manage the Damage – Preparing for Natural Disasters; and Investing in Technology for Safety, Energy & Water Efficiency. The department has provided convenient links to the ICC’s articles, suggested activities, and other resources for homeowners, contractors, schools, and community organizations for each week at www.cityofwestlake.org/Building-Safety-Month.
Complying with Building Codes Saves Lives and Money
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. These safe structures tend to lower tax insurance costs, resulting in great savings to property owners.
Based on building science, technical knowledge and past experiences, model building codes provide protection from man-made and natural disasters, building public health and reducing property losses. The codes address all aspects of construction, from structural to fire prevention, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency.
About the Building Department
The Building Department, located at City Hall, serves to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and to enhance the general quality of life through interpretation and enforcement of the Westlake building codes as well as other applicable regulations governing construction and land uses. The department provides supervision of construction activities, acceptance of building applications, issuance of all building and mechanical permits and the registration of contractors. They plan verification of compliance with the Ohio Building Code, Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) and Westlake Zoning Code. The department maintains existing properties through the use of the Westlake Property Maintenance Code and the licensing of existing apartment buildings and all 1, 2 and 3 family structures used as rentals, excluding condominiums. The Registered Contractors database, permit information, and more can be found online at www.cityofwestlake.org/Building.
The City of Westlake, founded in 1811, is located on 15.97 square miles in the western edge of Cuyahoga County, approximately one mile south of Lake Erie. Its more than 32,000 citizens, vibrant businesses, and many visitors enjoy outstanding restaurants and shopping including Crocker Park,. Scenic parks, recreational areas, a highly rated school system, college campuses, and exceptional city services and safety forces can all be found in Westlake. The city’s largest employers include Hyland Software, American Greetings, Equity Trust, Nordson Corporation, TravelCenters of America, USG Interiors, and Q-Lab. University Hospitals St. John Medical Center and satellite operations for Cleveland Clinic Health System and University Hospital Health Care System are also located in the city. Westlake’s location provides easy access to most of Northeast Ohio via I-90 and I-480 and beyond with a short ride to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Learn more about us at www.cityofwestlake.org.