Building codes are sets of laid down rules and regulations set aside to ensure adequate and appropriate structural integrity of the building, wellbeing and health of the occupants and conformity with fire safety for all inhabitants. These building codes were adopted as a result of incessant fire incidents affecting buildings. Such fire incidents could be manmade or natural. Hence, the adoption of structural building codes and electrical codes to arrest the situation. The state, municipality and the concerned authorities are saddled with the task of developing the necessary and appropriate building and fire codes that suits a particular area and its eventual compliance. This serves to prevent the alteration of the design by the architect. Adoption of such codes by builders has resulted in fewer fire disasters and also increased efficiency in the management, if there was a fire incident and also a drastic reduction in the severity of such fire incidents. In the past when such codes were not available and where they were available they were not enforced. There were numerous incidents involving the buildings which were highly injurious to the affected individuals and the entire community. Incidents such as building collapse and fire incidents posed grave danger to the populace. Apart from the physical and monetary loss, the emotional, psychological and health compromise were usually gigantic hence the rules and regulations governing material use and construction design. For instance, in the development of new building codes, the distance between two buildings were taken into cognisance. Also, of importance are the nature of the materials used and the availability of fire fighting equipments at home. A distance of 1.2 metres is expected between two residential buildings. Also, gypsum wallboards which are fire resistant underneath vinyl components are advocated. Presence of heat sensors and smoke detectors are also essential. These measures apart from preventing fire outbreaks will also reduce the severity when one occurs.
Also, electrical codes have been designed by the national fire protection association in preventing fire accidents at the place of work. The rules involve application for all electrical such as appliances, wires, conductors and communication devices.
2013 NFPA 70: NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/AboutTheCodes.asp?DocNum=70&cookie_test=1