The Town of Oro Valley will join with others around the world in May to celebrate Building Safety Month.

This year's theme is "Building Safety: Commemorating a 30-year Legacy of Leadership." First observed in 1980 as Building Safety Week, Building Safety Month 2010 will highlight four areas: energy and green building; disaster safety and mitigation; fire safety and awareness; and backyard safety. The goal is to raise public awareness of critical safety issues such as the structural soundness of buildings, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability. These issues affect every person, regardless of age or occupation.

The Town of Oro Valley is participating by focusing on residential and backyard safety by offering free pool barrier and safety audits for all residents.

Inspectors, plan examiners and others in Oro Valley work to ensure the safety of the structures in which all of us live, work, attend school, worship and play. These professionals provide the first line of defense against building disasters. They are silent but vigilant guardians who work daily to ensure safety in the built environment.

The Oro Valley Building Safety Department is committed to providing the highest level of customer service to help ensure your building project meets all of the safety standards and codes in our community. Information about permits for pools; spas; additions such as porches, enclosing garages and porches into living spaces; replacing furnaces and water heaters; replacing or adding doors or windows; adding electrical outlets or plumbing fixtures; or to find out what projects may be exempt from permits, can all be obtained by visiting us at 11000 N. La CaƱada Drive, or by contacting us at (520) 229-4800, or log on to the Building Safety web page at

You will always find helpful individuals with an interest in making your project both safe and successful.

Suzanne Smith is director of the Town of Oro Valley's Building Safety department and is the town's building official. She can be reached at

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