The International Code Council has proclaimed May as Building Safety Month! This year's theme is "Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save!" For more information regarding Building Safety month, visit www.iccsafe.org
In recognition of Building Safety Month, the City of Big Bear Lake and the Building & Safety Department would like to encourage all residents to participate in various activities related to fire safety, earthquake and disaster preparedness, emergencies, and water conservation. There are numerous projects that can be done around your home to achieve increased safety for your home & family. Said projects include:
- Make sure your address number is clearly visible from the road. If your street number has a backlight, check if the light is operational during nighttime. Clearly visible street address numbers greatly help first responders locate your property faster in the event of an emergency.
- Check if emergency escape and rescue windows or doors in each bedroom are operational and not obstructed by any furniture or similar items. These windows and doors are important escape features during an emergency such as a fire or an earthquake. They also provide a point of entry into the structure for first responders.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms save human lives every day. Periodical testing is important to confirm the proper operation of these alarms. Check the batteries and replace them if needed. Make sure that every bedroom or sleeping area is equipped with an operational smoke alarm. Every floor/level also requires a carbon monoxide alarm. For more information on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms, click HERE.
- Clean up yards, decks, rain gutters, and roofs from combustible fuels such as pine needles or dry weeds. Trim or remove dry vegetation, bushes, and dead trees. We are living in a high fire hazard area, after all. Every reduction of combustible materials helps to keep your house more resistant to fires and helps our Fire Department to be more successful in firefighting efforts.
- Check your water heater tank for two seismic straps to prevent falling over causing water damage and possible gas leaks during an earthquake.
- Replace your air filters in your central heating unit. Some filters on home heating systems need to be replaced every three months if the house is occupied full time. Visually check your filters and replace them as needed.
- Test your GFCI electrical receptacles and breakers by simply pressing the TEST button located on electrical receptacles and breakers.
- Inspect or have a professional inspect your decks, rail guards, and exterior stairs for aging, cracks, loose joints, and overall structural soundness. This is especially important for decks that are elevated high above ground level and decks with spas.
- If your residence uses a wood-burning fireplace or stove, the chimney needs to be inspected and cleaned at least one time each season to prevent buildup which may lead to a chimney fire. It is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher located in the same room or area as a fire-burning stove or fireplace.
- Check for leaking kitchen and bathroom faucets, toilets, garden hose bibs, and irrigation equipment inspect for water leaks under kitchen and bathroom sinks, and water heater closet. Early leak detection can conserve water and may save expenses associated with water damage repairs.