New building codes go into effect June 1

On June 1, the City of Biloxi begins operating under the 2018 International Building and Fire Codes, which, on the surface may not be a big deal but the updated codes mean property owners should continue to enjoy discounts on building and flood insurance premiums.

The codes, which govern new construction and renovations, have minimal changes from previous editions, but it’s vitally important the city keep them updated, said Community Development Director Jerry Creel, whose department is the lead agency overseeing construction in the city.

“The codes are updated every three years to address any new technology in the field of construction or to address any life safety issues that may have surfaced,” Creel said. “The primary purpose of the codes is to ensure life safety,” Creel said, “but there are additional benefits that residents enjoy because the city adopted the new edition of the codes.”

For instance, the building division of Community Development and city’s fire department are graded by the Mississippi Building Department Rating Bureau. Each participating city and county are given a grade between 1 and 10, with one being the top rating.

Currently the city has some of the top-rated codes in the state: The building division has a “4,” and the Biloxi Fire Department has a “3.” Said Creel: “As a result of these excellent ratings, Biloxi property owners who build structures under this rating should be receiving discounts on their building insurance premiums. The amount of the discounts vary depending on a number of factors.”

Additionally, the city’s efforts in helping prevent flood damage, through code enforcement or public education, also earns property owners discounts on flood insurance.

“The Insurance Services Office, or ISO, evaluates and grades our efforts on a scale from 1 to 10,” Creel said. “Biloxi has earned a “5” rating, which is the best flood rating in the entire state. Because of this excellent rating, homeowners, who have flood insurance policies, and live in a special flood hazard area, should be receiving a 25 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums. Homeowners who have flood insurance policies and live outside of the special flood hazard area should be receiving a 10 percent discount on their premiums.”

Added Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich: “People may sometimes wonder why permits are required for work. It’s to protect the home or business owner. Permits lead to inspections, which ensure that your building or home is being built to the correct standards, and in addition to that satisfaction you also receive  discounts on your insurance rates.”

Those with questions about construction or permits, should contact the Building Division of the Community Development Department at 228-435-6280 or


New & notes

See the Shuckers: The league-leading Biloxi Shuckers host the Mississippi Braves at MGM Park today. Gates open at 5:30, and $2 is the magic number today. It’s Double Play Thursday, with $2 specials on food and drink. To read more, click here

Podcast: Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney dropped by today’s City Desk podcast to discuss new equipment now in service in the fire department, progress on the new Cedar-Popp’s fire station and summertime safety tips. To listen to the program, click here.

Blessed schooner rides: The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum is now taking reservations to ride aboard the Biloxi schooner “Glenn L. Swetman” on Sunday  for the Blessing of the Fleet.  Tickets are $30 a person. Call the museum before Saturday at 228-435-6320, or be at the pier Sunday.  The schooner departs at 12:30 p.m. and  returns to dock at 3 p.m. 

Golden Fisherman:  Reminder, the new Golden Fisherman will be unveiled this evening during the city’s Preservation in May event from 7 to 8 at the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. For details, click here.