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State Fire Marshal to host 2nd annual fire prevention event Friday, sharing tips for all ages

Thursday, October 04, 2012 | 05:31am

NASHVILLE, TN – October is Fire Prevention Month, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is launching an effort to help local communities learn and address the factors that too frequently contribute to fires that take the lives of Tennesseans.
“To kick off Fire Prevention Month, our Fire Prevention Division will host a free fire safety education event from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. this Friday, October 5, at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park,” Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Julie Mix McPeak said.

“For too many years, Tennessee has occupied an undesirable ranking in the country for fire deaths. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is on a mission to change that. Friday, we’ll be talking about the efforts we will be taking, along with local fire departments, to use education and support to reverse this horrible trend in our state,” she said.
During the program, there will be several safety demonstrations, and fire department personnel from across the state will be on hand to present fire safety information. The State Fire Marshal’s Office Bomb and Arson section – which routinely is called to provide staffing support and technological expertise to local fire investigations – also will have its Special Operations Response Team (SORT) truck for attendees to tour, along with other response vehicles on display. The festivities also include an inflatable fire truck slide for children. Commissioner McPeak will speak at 10:15 a.m.
“We want Tennesseans to be aware of risks in the home that can lead to fatal fires. For example, falling asleep while smoking in bed or in a comfortable chair remains a major cause of fire deaths in Tennessee,” McPeak said. “Having operable smoke alarms in the home makes a significant difference in enabling someone to escape a burning home.”

McPeak’s office  also would like to remind Tennessee residents of other practices in the home that can quickly become hazardous, such as:
•    Keeping space heaters too close to bedding or drapes
•    Burning candles or incense near flammable materials
•    Using frayed cables, extension cords or holiday lighting sets, and overloading wall outlets and surge protectors
•    Improperly storing or disposing of chemicals
•    Leaving food on the stove unattended when frying or grilling

McPeak urges Tennessee families to practice their home escape plan this month. “Having an established escape route is one of the most important things Tennessee families can do. We encourage them to rehearse it routinely – not just in October, but throughout the year.”

Residents also should replace smoke alarms’ batteries when adjusting clocks for daylight saving time. They can do that on November 4 when daylight saving time ends and clocks are set back an hour this year.

Be sure to download the State Fire Marshal’s Office fire-safety home checklist at

The State Fire Marshal’s Office ( is a division of the Department of Commerce and Insurance (, which works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee., @TNCommerceInsur (Twitter), (Facebook), (YouTube)

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