WEST LAFAYETTE Ind. (WLFI)-New Indiana Residential Building Code will make homes safer for residents and firefighters. Governor Holcomb signed the code on November 26th and it went into effect on December 26th.
"It's disproportionate the number of firefighters that are injured in basement fire compared to fire on a first or second floor of structure because there are so many variables and unknowns as we go into a basement fire," said Jeff Need Deputy chief of West Lafayette Fire
The new building code, requires all new residential builds must have an escape and rescue opening in the basement.
"Heat, smoke,e and products of combustion have to go somewhere,” said Need. “So those toxins are coming up the stairs while the firefighters and going down those stairs to fight that fire. So, without some sort of egress, so we are working against those natural forces."
Those aren't the only changes happening that will make things safer for fire personnel. There will also be a stronger separation between garages and homes.
"What code is trying to do prevent fires that may start in the garage from reaching the interior of the home so we put a heavier rating on that which goes up in the attic that is normally in most garages, said James Straws President of the Indiana Association of Building Officials
That change is something firefighters say can save time which is one of the most important things when fighting a fire.
"Life safety is all about time and if we can increase you know five or ten minutes of time between the fire breaking through that barrier then that's going to result in lives being saved and less property damage as well,” added Jeff Need.
The Indiana residential Building Code hasn't been updated since 2003, the 2020 building code went in to effect yesterday. Local building commissioners will take education classes on the new codes in January. For more information, on the new building code click here.