Cupertino students learn importance of building safety
By Matt Wilson
Posted: 04/16/2014 06:06:41 PM PDT
Students at Meyerholz Elementary in the Cupertino Union School District might look at buildings a little differently now after an April 4 presentation from the Peninsula Chapter of the International Code Council, a nonprofit of Bay Area building officials.
A team of building officials and engineers visited the school for two morning assemblies that taught them some very basic engineering principles and to discuss the importance of having functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
Referring to themselves as "silent heroes" in the mold of firefighters and police, students were given an hour-long presentation on the importance of identifying hazards homes and surroundings, as well as a glimpse into careers as building officials.
"If we save one life or reach one child, then it was all worth it," said Susan O'Brien, assembly organizer and ICC member.
Students were instructed to tell their parents to check detectors regularly and to know the difference between how many beeps mean emergence and how many beeps mean it is time to change batteries. Students also got lessons in pool safety and the importance of pool gates.
Special mention was also made of the hazardous tangle of electrical chords that are commonly found in homes. Presenters referred to it as the "electrical octopus."
Presenters displayed a table of props, including a noteworthy prop that showed a size comparison between the pamphlet-sized building codes of the 1950s and 1960s and the voluminous binders of specific codes found in the industry today.
At the presentation's conclusion, students were each given a workbook and bright yellow hard hat. Students were then led by presenters in reciting a pledge to be on the hunt for building safety issues.
"As a junior building inspector, I promise to do my best to help keep my home and family safe," the students simultaneously recited. "I will work with my family to make sure my home has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors."
Students also pledged to share what they learned at school with their families and create an emergency plan with them.
The program was started by Tony Falcone, a building official for Santa Cruz County and member of the ICC. The first presentation was held in October last year.
The Meyerholz assembly was the fourth for the ICC's outreach program. Previous events were held at Van Meter Elementary School in Los Gatos, Alexander Rose Elementary School in Milpitas, and Blue Hills Elementary School in Saratoga.
Photos courtesy Susan O'BrienMarko Glendinning, a building inspector with the town of Los Gatos, speaks to a room of students at Meyerholz Elementary School on April 4. Glendinning and other volunteers from the ICC Peninsula Chapter are making the rounds to local schools teaching children about building safety by way of interactive assemblies.
Here is a link to the Cupertino Courier article
Membership in the Peninsula Chapter provides an opportunity to keep up to date on the activities of the ICC and code adoption status. Plus it also serves as a forum to discuss code changes, interpretations, and updates.
Peninsula Chapter ICCP.O. Box 2396Santa Clara, CA 95055