Nashville, TN – Partnerships are the cornerstone of Tennessee’s success in combating fire fatalities. The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO), a division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI), encourages clubs, charitable and fraternal organizations, and other community-focused groups across the state to consider joining forces with our lifesaving team.
“The State Fire Marshal’s Office is on a mission to reduce Tennessee fire injuries and fatalities, and we’re not alone,” said Gary West, TDCI Deputy Commissioner for Fire Prevention. “Local fire departments and organizations like the Red Cross are outstanding partners that share the common goal of preventing fire loss, but there’s room for more advocates and even more progress.”Tennessee fire safety partnerships are continuing to expand and pay off in 2016. Early this month, the Tennessee Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA) coordinated with the SFMO to conduct a smoke alarm canvass.
Staff from eight different Clayton Homes plants in seven different counties in East and West Tennessee participated in the event which targeted manufactured homes without working smoke alarms. Over 150 volunteers helped install 525 alarms in just one day’s time.
Last week, the SFMO partnered with the Jackson Fire Department and the Red Cross on an outreach event in Jackson. The canvass targeted neighborhoods where two fatal house fires claimed the lives of four people earlier this winter. More than 70 smoke alarms were installed by over 30 volunteers during the Saturday event, and many more in the days before and after.
“The process is simple,” West said. “As part of our ‘Get Alarmed, Tennessee’ program, the State Fire Marshal’s Office provides smoke alarms to groups who are willing to install them for people in need within their local community. The only requirement is that the organization account for the alarms by providing the installation information back to us.”
Those installation reports are used to not only account for the devices, but to track the program’s effectiveness. By comparing the installation data to fire incident reports, the SFMO has discovered that alarms installed through the “Get Alarmed” program have saved 129 Tennesseans from fire danger since November 2012 when the initiative was launched.
If your organization is interested in partnering with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, please contact Community Risk Reduction Coordinator Baylie Scott at 615-350-4290 or Baylie.Scott@tn.gov to learn more.
For more details on fire risks and trends in Tennessee, view the SFMO’s 2015 Fire Fatality Report.