The International Code Council is hoping to beef up code enforcement with more federal funding.

Council officials are suggesting Congress approve a grant program that would provide money to local building departments to ensure standards are met.

“The program will help local jurisdictions by providing the resources they need to make sure the codes they adopt are being adequately enforced,” said Rick Weiland, the ICC’s chief executive officer. “It will also give jurisdictions the flexibility to invest in equipment, training, additional staff or whatever they need most to provide the highest level of safety possible.”

The extra money will mean more staff and training, which would save lives and property, officials said.

“This grant program will help increase professionalism in order to better serve the public, especially during natural disasters,” said Wally Bailey, ICC president and director of development and construction for the city of Fort Smith, Ark. “It’s all part of protecting our country and providing our citizens with the safest possible built environment.”

The ICC says that for every dollar spent on building safety, $4 to $7 is saved in reduced damage when a disaster hits.

So far, members have had more than 130 meetings with senators and representatives on the issue, the ICC said.