Tennessee's own state health and safety code has adopted the safety standards of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The OSH Act requires that companies with 10 or more employees have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans for each workplace. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate the plans orally. To ensure that the exit plan will work in an actual emergency, it is advisable to rehearse regularly with annual or semiannual drills.
Tennessee has no specific law or regulation requiring employers (other than schools and colleges) to conduct fire drills. However, the state has accepted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code Standard that applies to healthcare facilities and mandates fire drills. Contact your local fire department with questions on your specific facility.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) assists employers in accessing information on fire prevention and safety. TOSHA's on-site safety consultation services are available to employers with fewer than 250 employees in Tennessee or fewer than 500 employees within the United States. For information, call 800-249-8510.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance's Division of Fire Prevention enforces fire codes and investigates arson. Call 615-741-2981 or go to http://www.tn.gov
for more information.
Note: Local fire safety codes may contain additional requirements.
Persons with disabilities. Under the Tennessee Accessibility Act, commercial buildings and government-owned buildings must provide a means of egress for persons with disabilities (TN Rules and Regulations Sec. 0780-2-3).