To raise public awareness of the critical role building codes play in ensuring the safety of Tennesseans, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has declared May 2022 as Building Safety Month in Tennessee.
In conjunction with the Governor’s proclamation, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (“SFMO”) are participating in the 42nd annual Building Safety Month, a worldwide campaign presented by the International Codes Council (“ICC”), its members, and partners to promote building safety. This year’s campaign, “Safety for All: Building Codes in Action,” raises awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in the spaces in which we live, work, learn, and play.
Created by the ICC, Building Safety Month is an international campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of code adoption and celebrate the work of state and local codes inspectors who help ensure the safety of communities.
“The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is proud to join Governor Lee and the ICC in promoting this annual campaign,” said TDCI Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Carter Lawrence. “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. Contemporary planning, building materials, design, and construction can make our communities more resilient in the aftermath of disaster, fires, and other events.”
Codes officials in 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 2021, the SFMO team completed 5,386 inspections of residential buildings, issued 161,604 electrical permits, issued 1,450 residential building permits, and conducted 265,308 total electrical inspections.
As part of finding new ways to serve Tennesseans, the SFMO launched the Online Permitting System in 2020 that modernized the electrical and residential permit purchasing and inspection process. Today, 75% of all electrical permits have been sold through the online platform and have saved customers over $1 million in estimated fees.
“Each division of the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office is committed to creating safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient places for Tennesseans to live, work, learn, worship, and play,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Gary Farley. “Building Safety Month brings recognition to the hard work of codes enforcement professionals who are committed to ensuring the safety and prosperity of Tennesseans.”
As part of the SFMO’s mission, 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.
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