Tennessee Fire Prevention: What you need to know

Tennessee has no specific law or regulation requiring employers (other than schools and colleges) to conduct fire drills. However, 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.

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The Tennessee Department Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) does maintain standards for fire prevention in the workplace and participates in fire prevention activities. Employers may access free information on fire prevention and safety by calling TOSHA Consultative Services at 800-249-8510 or by going to http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/tosha.html. TOSHA suggests that employers inform workers of the potential fire hazards in their work area and prepare emergency evacuation procedures.

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://tn.gov/commerce/sfm/contact.shtmlfor more information.

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).

Resources. The Office of the Fire Marshal has available resources on fire safety and ...

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