Without building and fire codes, shopping for groceries, getting your hair cut, or watching TV in your home could be a risky proposition.
Building and fire codes are rules that help ensure buildings are designed to withstand the everyday uses for which they are built.
These codes help safeguard against injury to people in the buildings, should something potentially dangerous occur, like a power outage, fire, tornado, or earthquake.
Fire and building codes are intended to achieve specific safety outcomes. For example, codes might specify the material to be used to construct a floor so that it is engineered to withstand a fire for a certain length of time to give those in the building more time to exit.
Codes also specify the number and placement of exits in a building, based on the maximum number of people that will occupy the room, the room's location in the building and its intended use.
These are just two examples, but illustrate the level of detail to which building and fire codes make buildings safer for the people who use them.
Even before a building is built in Dublin, it must meet the city's building and fire code specifications.
This is, in part, because a lot of the code requirements would be too costly for the building owner to complete after the building is finished.
So, the Washington Township Fire Department and the Dublin Building Department review all building plans for structural integrity, fire protection systems, electricity, mechanical and plumbing before, during and after construction.
The Fire Department's fire code inspectors and the city of Dublin's building inspectors regularly inspect all commercial buildings to make sure they comply with fire and building codes.
When issues are identified, inspectors request that the building owner make necessary changes and revisit the building at a later date to confirm they were made.
It's safer in Dublin.
Washington Township Fire Department Fire Marshal Alan Perkins submitted the Smoke Signals column.