Focused Fire Prevention: Forecasting Risks in Local Communities

1 hour, 3 minutes

Tennessee has recently gained national attention in focusing fire prevention efforts on reducing fire deaths and property loss.

As a state, Tennessee has seen a 28% reduction in civilian structure fire deaths between the periods 2006-2010 and 2011-2015. They recorded a 15% reduction in structure fires and a 17% reduction in dollar loss during the same time periods. Was this success planned, calculated, or even luck? No… It was forecasted and strategically calculated using very aggressive approaches to modern “Focused Fire Prevention.”

The “Get Alarmed Tennessee” smoke alarm program has distributed over 130,000 smoke alarms and documented 147 saves over the last 4 years. This has all been accomplished through partnerships and cooperation with local communities and fire departments. The Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office understands that there is a need to direct focus and attention toward the more vulnerable segments of the population in Tennessee and the immediate causes of fire. “Focusing fire prevention resources where they matter most” is a phrase that has been coined to emphasize concentrated efforts.

This presentation will focus on the committed efforts and success stories to reducing the mortality rate, saving lives, reducing property loss, and on forecasting efforts of risk at the local level.


  • Fire prevention through public education, code enforcement and fire protection enhancements
  • Identification and prioritization of risks defined as Community Risk Reduction (CRR)
  • Application of resources to minimize the probability of occurrence and impact of unfortunate events

Gary West, State Fire Marshal (TN)

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