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Washington County Participates in Building Safety Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

Educational Campaign on Safe and Sensible Structures

Hagerstown, MD (May 2, 2012) – When you enter a house or building, most likely you assume it is safe and was properly constructed in accordance with building codes. Fortunately, your local safety experts work hard to assure building safety and fire prevention every day. To help raise awareness of building safety, Washington County Government proudly celebrates Building Safety Month this May. The theme, “An International Celebration of Safe and Sensible Structures” highlights four areas: Energy and Green Building; Disaster Safety and Mitigation; Fire Safety and Awareness; and Backyard Safety.

Importance of Building Safety                                                                                                    
Across the nation, leaders and communities are promoting the use and understanding of these topics to protect lives and property. Washington County Government’s Divisions of Emergency Services, Plan Review and Permitting, and Public Works does this year round – and hopes May’s educational campaign will remind citizens of the importance of building safety.  The Board of County Commissioners recognized this effort by presenting a Building Safety Month proclamation to involved Washington County Government employees. 

“When building safety and fire prevention experts inspect buildings during and after construction, we help to ensure that the places where you live, learn, work, worship and play are safe,” said County Administrator Greg Murray.  The important work we do is often overlooked until a catastrophic tragedy occurs.”

Building safety and fire prevention codes address all aspects of construction, such as structural soundness of buildings, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability. To ensure buildings are safe requires the active participation of building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, builders, engineers, contractors and others in the construction industry, as well as property owners.

“Public safety is our number one concern,” said Murray. “During Building Safety Month and all year long, building safety and fire prevention officials are here to help protect you, your family and our community.”

Educational Campaign                                                                                                                   
To celebrate Building Safety Month, Washington County Government is launching an education campaign, focusing on the hot topics in building safety.  We will be interactive with the public by posting daily safety tips on Facebook, and answering “Ask the Expert” questions all month long.  In addition, the County will be highlighting videos that further explain building code and safe structures.  Children can also participate by completing educational workbooks, found at local libraries. 

Tune in the County’s website, Facebook page, and news alerts to participate in each week’s theme. 

Week of May 7th: Energy and Green Building – Learn how the County has implemented energy saving practices using grant money.

Week of May 14th: Disaster Safety and Mitigation – Learn how the County’s Emergency Services team alerts citizens during major emergencies and ensures safety.

Week of May 21st: Fire Safety and Awareness – Learn how the County’s first responders keep our County safe and continue to educate the public on fire safety.

Week of May 28th: Backyard Safety – Learn how to be safe in outdoor settings, as the County’s Division of Plan Review and Permitting will highlight backyard pool safety. 

About Washington County, Maryland Government                                                                 
Washington County, Maryland Government strives to fulfill its duty to the citizens of Washington County with regard to operational efficiency, fiscal responsibility, and responsiveness to the needs of the community. This vision is used to ably assist the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County in achieving goals for moving the County forward as present needs and future plans are addressed.

According to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, the Washington County General Fund has the third lowest cost per capita for services provided of all 23 counties and Baltimore City.  This is attributed to the efficiency, staffing levels, and cost containment exhibited in Washington County Government operations. Visit for more information.

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About the International Code Council                                                       
The International Code Council is a member-based association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.


Sarah Lankford Sprecher, Director of Public Relations & Community Affairs
Phone: 240-313-2215

Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer
Phone:   240-313-2077V/TDD

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