Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Basehor making strides with building safefty

April 23, 2008

To the Editor:

America will celebrate Building Safety Week from May 5 through 11. The theme is "Building Safety: Where You Live, Work and Play." The City of Basehor Building Safety Department is participating this year.

First observed in 1980, Building Safety Week annually raises public awareness of critical safety issues affecting every person, regardless of age or occupation. These entail the structural soundness of the buildings where we live and work, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability.

Inspectors, plan reviewers and others in and working for the City of Basehor Building Safety Department work to ensure the safety of the structures in which all of us live, work, attend school, worship and play. These officials provide the first line of defense against building disasters. We are silent but vigilant guardians who work daily to ensure safety in the built environment.

In 2007, the Building Safety Department performed over 1,250 inspections on single family and multifamily residences as well as commercial construction projects. As of January 2007, the first successful Building Code update in 12 years was approved by the City Council. With the adoption of the 2003 International Codes, we have aligned ourselves with various surrounding communities, making it easier for builders to work in various jurisdictions without having to worry about differences in building codes. Some things to keep in mind when wondering what requires a permit include: small plumbing and heating/air conditioning changeouts due to venting requirements as well as electrical upgrades that may be necessary; adding to, or building a new deck; swimming pool installations; basement finishes; permit requirements for gas-line replacement and accessory structures, which also must meet additional criteria . Many other building changes may require a permit, and for further information you can visit our Web site at cityofbasehor.org.

Attractive educational materials are available for schools and the community at large; for example, brochures about flood cleanup, mold prevention, green building and preparing for natural disasters. The public is encouraged to participate and learn about the essential safety work of the City of Basehor Building Safety Department.

The City of Basehor Building Safety Department is a member of the International Code Council. The sponsor of Building Safety Week, the Code Council, develops the most widely used building safety and fire prevention codes in the nation.

Mark Lee

Building official

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