New building codes to help firefighters, too

Hoosier homes built under the new 2020 Indiana Residential Code will not only be safer for residents, but also firefighting personnel, says Shad Paul, incoming president of the Indiana Association of Building Officials (IABO).

The new building code, signed by Governor Eric Holcomb on Nov. 26, is based on the 2018 International Code Council (ICC) International Residential Code, along with Indiana amendments. It features substantial safety upgrades.

“One of the requirements reduces the threat of injury from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning through the requirement for installed alarms designed to detect levels of the gas well below levels that threaten health,” says Craig Wagner, IABO Board of Directors and Code Committee member.

IABO’s Code Committee members worked with the Indiana Builders Association and builders, architects, fire services and others to bring this new updated code to Indiana.

Other key changes include:

— A requirement that basements have an escape and rescue opening, making basements safer for residents and firefighting personnel.

— A more robust garage separation.

— Up-to-date seismic design categories.

— New solar installation information.

IABO’s education training events in 2020 will cover the 2018 International Residential Code along with the Indiana amendments. Education classes will be taught by ICC instructors and they will implement all Indiana amendments into the classes.

“The new codes are effective Dec. 26, 2019,” says Wagner, “and we are excited to introduce the various building measures that will increase residential safety and protect families’ investments in Indiana.”

Education opportunities and additional information regarding the new code and local district directors can be found at

Questions can be directed to Kim Hostetler, building and permit division coordinator, Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development, at 358-4837 or