The International Code Council stood with fellow fire safety advocates near the U.S. Capitol to bring attention to several recent fire fatalities and encourage usage of early detection and early suppression tools.
Code Council Senior Vice President Sara Yerkes represented the Code Council. Other participating organizations included the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Association of Fire Marshals, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the Home Safety Council, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the National Fire Protection Association, and the American Fire Sprinkler Association. Families of fire death victims and Washington, D.C., area fire departments were introduced as well.
Several of the participants endorsed the Code Council’s activities as essential to fire safety, and promoted the adoption of the latest building and fire safety codes. The Code Council will soon release its 2009 International Codes and urges jurisdictions to adopt and administer building and fire safety codes to provide maximum public safety. In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained fire detection and suppression systems can save lives.
United States Fire Administrator Greg Cade declared the national effort as a result of one of the deadliest holiday seasons in recent memory and several significant fires in the first days of 2009. There have been more than 158 fatal fires in the United States resulting in more than 200 fire fatalities since Thanksgiving 2008, according to Cade.
“The 2008 holiday season and the start of 2009 may be recorded as one of the deadliest for residential fires in recent memory of the fire service,” said Cade during a news conference held at a Washington, D.C., fire station.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council.