Nashville, TN – The Volunteer State’s fire prevention and education efforts on behalf of consumers are detailed in the newly released 2016 Annual Report from the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO).
Compiled with data provided by fire departments from across Tennessee, the report highlights statistics and major advancements made by the SFMO’s eight sections: Education & Outreach; Fire Investigations; Codes Enforcement; Residential, Electrical, & Marina Inspections; Manufactured Housing & Modular Buildings; Fire Service & Codes Enforcement Academy; Firefighting Commission; and Administrative Services.“Our multi-dimensional staff works daily to enhance both civilian and firefighter safety,” said State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “The annual report summarizes for the public and our stakeholders the advancements made in 2016 and helps us identify more opportunities to reduce the loss of life and property from fire in Tennessee.”
While Tennessee’s fire-related fatalities climbed last year, the overall trend of Tennessee’s fire death rate continues to decline when viewed with Tennessee’s historical fire data. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ranked Tennessee No. 6 in the nation for fire deaths with 17.7 deaths per million for the 2006-2010 measurement period.
The SFMO expects the cumulative reduction in the state’s annual fire death rate since the last measurement period will mean Tennessee will no longer be ranked in the top 10 states when the NFPA releases their new state rankings sometime in 2017.
“The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is focused on helping make Tennessee a safer place for our children, our families and our businesses,” said Tennessee Commerce & Insurance Deputy Commissioner Gary West. “We thank our state and local partners for their diligence in raising awareness about the importance of fire safety and education.”
SFMO 2016 Annual Report Highlights:
- The “Get Alarmed Tennessee” smoke alarm installation program recorded over 138,000 smoke alarms distributed to 489 Tennessee fire departments and community service organizations since its inception in 2012. “Get Alarmed” has been credited with alerting 168 individuals to the presence of a fire in their home.
- Since adding marina safety inspections to its operations in 2015, the Residential and Electrical Inspections Section has inspected 158 Tennessee marinas and found numerous safety violations. One such inspection included the discovery of a 480 volt electrical service which was energizing water at the marina. The violations, if not detected, could have eventually caused serious injuries, even death, to persons entering the water in the vicinity of these hazards.
- The Tennessee Fire Service & Codes Enforcement Academy (TFACA) conducted a total of 983 classes in 2016. TFACA set a new record with 66 fire departments exceeding 1,000 or more student contact hours for the period of July 2015 – June 2016. In addition, TFACA purchased a mobile training tower with the assistance of a federal grant. This travelling unit will bring safe, complaint, and realistic training to firefighters across the state without access to such equipment.
*The 2016 SFMO Annual Report does not include information about the Gatlinburg/Sevier County wildfire which remains an ongoing investigation.