Representatives from the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Fire Prevention Division spoke at the monthly meeting of the Johnson City Area Home Builders Association (JCAHBA) meeting last Thursday at the Johnson City Holiday Inn. Gary Farley, Assistant Commissioner of Fire Prevention shared information on new and existing fire codes across the state.
David Garland, JCAHBA president, presented the state group with a series of questions important to the industry based on upcoming changes in the state residential codes.
Farley said new rules will be started by the end of the year and are “minimum state codes to keep new homes safe, as well as affordable for buyers.”
Farley also mentioned Tennessee had moved from the second most fire deaths in 2012 in the nation to the eleventh position today. They are also promoting the “Close the Door” program across the state to help save lives.
Tim Hicks of Hicks Construction expressed concern over the new codes and the importance of keeping local municipalities aware of how news codes could impact the cost of building a new home adding two to three percent to the cost.
Madelyn McCormick, Community Risk Reduction Coordinator with the state Fire Marshal’s office, said, “If your home should have a fire the simple effort of closing a door will give a person more time to escape their burning home. There is a 900-degree difference on the fire side of the door. By closing a door you will get a couple of more minutes to escape and could save your life.”