TDCI, Fire Marshal’s Office Raises Awareness of Building Safety Month in May
NASHVILLE – To raise public awareness of the critical role that building codes play in ensuring safe communities, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (“SFMO”) are raising awareness of the importance Building Safety Month in Tennessee.
Building Safety Month is a worldwide campaign presented by the International Codes Council (“ICC”), its members, and partners to promote building safety. This year’s campaign theme is “It Starts With You!” which encourages residents to focus on building safety on a personal, local, and global scale.
“Building Safety Month’s goal is to educate the public about solutions that improve the safety, sustainability, affordability, and resilience of buildings, infrastructure, and communities,” said TDCI Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Carter Lawrence. “Contemporary planning, building materials, design, and construction can make our communities more resilient in the aftermath of disaster, fires, and other events.”
In Tennessee, the SFMO’s Codes Enforcement Section, as well as those in the Electrical, Residential, and Marina Inspections Section, work to ensure buildings are constructed safely and public marinas are operating safely. In 2022, the SFMO team completed 5,257 inspections of residential buildings, issued 185,608 electrical permits, issued 1,486 residential building permits, and conducted 300,254 total electrical inspections.
As part of finding new ways to serve Tennesseans, the SFMO launched an Online Permitting System in 2020 that modernized the electrical and residential permit purchasing and inspection process. Since the system’s implementation over two years ago, an average of 75% of all electrical permits have been processed through the online platform, saving consumers in fees once collected by physical selling locations. In 2022, the online permitting system saved customers over $1.79 million in fees.
“Building Safety Month brings recognition to the hard work of codes enforcement professionals who are committed to ensuring the safety and prosperity of Tennesseans,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary Farley. “Whether it’s on the land or on the water, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is committed to ensuring Tennesseans have a safe place to live, work, learn, and play.”
To aid in the SFMO’s mission of training the future of codes officials, the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy (“TFACA”) offers a progressive and challenging curriculum for the testing and certification of code enforcement officials. TFACA’s state-of-the-art equipment, classrooms, and conference center provide a solid foundation for individuals who are starting a career in codes enforcement or seasoned professionals looking to keep pace with updated regulations. Building codes address all aspects of construction, including fire prevention, structural integrity, and energy efficiency.
For more information about the SFMO’s mission, visit us online.