Header

Main Content

Article

Building Safety Month

Elevator lobby

Building Safety Month

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security strives daily to protect the people and property of Indiana. With May being Building Safety Month, IDHS highlights its four sections that are focused on ensuring buildings are safe for all Hoosiers. Learn more about them below.

Boilers and Pressure Vessels

This section enforces Indiana's equipment laws regulating boilers and pressure vessels, the devices that produce hot water or steam to heat up buildings and their water supply, or even help generate power. Learn more 

Boiler roomDid You Know?

  • Six inspectors are responsible for inspecting, certifying and enforcing various boiler and pressure vessel laws, rules and regulations and applying the appropriate public safety regulation to specific devices, settings, uses and situations.
  • IDHS inspectors completed more than 8,000 inspections from April 1, 2019, to April 1, 2020.
  • There are roughly 80,000 registered boilers and pressure vessels installed in Indiana.
  • Most boilers and pressure vessels are insured by statutorily-authorized insurance inspection agencies, and the required safety inspections may be requested from the responsible inspector employed by the insuring agency and subsequently reported to IDHS. Otherwise, inspections must be completed by a state-employed inspector.

Building Plan Review

This section reviews Class I construction plans for compliance with building codes and safety rules. Learn more

Building plans on paper, with scrolls of paper plansDid You Know?

  • Building Plan Review checks the designs for Class I structures around the state. If a planned new building or structure will be used by the public, 3+ tenants or at least one employee, then that construction plan gets scrutinized for the public's safety.
  • Reviewers examine plans for about 12,000 projects per year.
  • Reviews look for compliance with Indiana's adopted building codes, helping to ensure the continued safety of Hoosiers and their guests as they interact with the built environment.

Code Enforcement

This section performs inspections and enforces fire and building codes, including those for child care centers, firework stores and outdoor stages. Learn more

American Ninja Warrior stage inspection sceneDid You Know?

  • The Code Enforcement section used to be two divisions, one with fire inspectors and the other with building inspectors. In the late 2000s, they merged and currently IDHS code enforcement inspectors hold certifications in both disciplines through the International Code Council (ICC). When an official has both certifications, he or she becomes a "certified code official."
  • Code Enforcement inspects 1,400 licensed child cares and ministries every year.
  • More than 17,000 inspections are completed annually, driven by permits and also focusing on Class I commercial structures, which include hotels, schools and health care centers.
  • This section has a diverse team of 42 inspectors and managers. Many are former first responders, fire service personnel, military veterans or construction personnel. 
  • Two administrative assistants handle all phone calls, emails, permits and interagency support requests. They are the rocks that support the team's response to public questions.
  • Code Enforcement contracts, organizes and manages ICC Class continuing education credits for local building officials across the state.

Elevators and Amusement Rides

This section regulates and inspects elevators and escalators in all types of buildings as well as amusement rides at fairs, theme parks and so on. Learn more

Inspector testing harness on tower launch ride at theme parkDid You Know?

  • The Elevators and Amusement Rides section regulates all lift devices in the state. This includes temporary construction lifts, elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, ski lifts, and tow ropes.
  • There are roughly 19,800 lift devices in Indiana.
  • More than 9,600 lift-device inspections were done between April 1, 2019, and April 1, 2020.
  • The team inspects alterations and new installations of lifting devices for compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Every time you look at a skyline and see a crane, it’s a safe bet to say there are a few more elevators going up, waiting to be inspected.
  • Inspectors also advise local elevator manufacturers, building and fire authorities, architects and engineers on how to apply laws and rules. If necessary to protect the public’s safety, inspectors will halt the operation of units until compliance with codes, laws, rules, or regulations is reached and plans or specifications for alterations/repairs are properly filed before releasing a lifting device for normal use. It's about safety!