Building safety experts want Congress to pass a law that would give states financial incentives to adopt and enforce strong building codes.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety are supporting the Safe Building Code Incentive Act, which was introduced in the House and Senate May 8.
"There is no question among first responders, and the fire service in particular, that strong building codes provide vital life safety protection during natural disasters such as wildfires," Chief Hank Clemmensen, International Association of Fire Chiefs president and board chairman, said in a press statement.
Julie Rochman, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety president and CEO, said the passage of the bill is important because 34 states do not have building codes that rely on the latest modern building science.
The bill would give qualifying states an additional 4 percent of funding for post-disaster assistance if they used nationally recognized model building codes. To qualify, states would need to adopt and enforce the International Residential Code from either of the most recent two updates (2012 or 2009).