TN Commerce

“Fire Aware” Campaign Assists Parents, Educators and Students Heading Back To School
Campaign Focuses on Fire Safety in Nontraditional Classroom Settings


NASHVILLE —  With the recent start of the new school semester, nontraditional “learning pods” such as local businesses, houses of worship, homes or other structures may be used as classroom space in order to  improve social distancing and reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus across Tennessee. In most cases, these nontraditional settings are not subject to traditional school or childcare building safety requirements.

To aid parents, caregivers and others who may be utilizing nontraditional learning spaces, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office are launching the “Fire Aware” consumer safety campaign to focus on reducing the risk of fire while learning in a nontraditional classroom space.

“The key to fire prevention is awareness, education and taking proactive steps today in order to prevent a fire from occurring tomorrow,” said TDCI Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Hodgen Mainda. “The Fire Aware campaign is an important resource for Tennesseans who might be using a home, business or other space as a classroom during this unprecedented time. I urge Tennesseans to be fire aware while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

“For nearly 70 years, the work of fire inspectors, school officials and educators have ensured no fire fatality has occurred in a Tennessee school,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Gary Farley. “The State Fire Marshal’s Office wants to reduce fire risk for Tennessee students who may be attending class in their school, remotely at home or in a learning pod at a nontraditional learning site this school year. The Fire Aware campaign empowers everyone to focus on fire safety in order to help protect Tennessee’s future.”

As part of the Fire Aware program, parents, educators and others should familiarize themselves with these questions and helpful fire safety tips, including:

Does the space being utilized have working fire alarms, fire sprinklers and/or smoke alarms?

Does the space have an emergency fire escape plan? Will fire drills be conducted?

Are the exits easy to find and access?

Is a stove being used in the learning space?

Questions about a learning pod? Contact the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office team with your questions. Call George Smith at (615) 604-4195 or Chris Bainbridge at (615) 741-6246

To download a printable "Fire Aware" checklist, click here.