TDCI, Fire Marshal’s Office Highlights Building Safety Month in May

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 | 10:18am

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has proclaimed May in Tennessee as Building Safety Month.

To help 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”) is joining with the International Code Council to promote building safety throughout Tennessee.

This year’s campaign theme is “Mission Possible” 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 2023, the SFMO team completed 6,246 inspections of residential buildings, issued 195,349 electrical permits, issued 1,506 residential building permits, and conducted 320,483 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 launch of the system, an average of 79% of all electrical permits have been sold through the online permitting system which saves consumers in fees collected by physical selling locations. In 2023, the online permitting system saved customers $770,770 in fees and has saved over $2.5 million since the system launched in 2020.

“Building Safety Month is a celebration of the hard work of codes enforcement professionals who are committed to ensuring the safety and prosperity of Tennesseans,” said TDCI Interim Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Mary Beth Gribble. “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.