The County Fire Marshal is responsible for ensuring fire safety compliance in the unincorporated portions of the county. Typical responsibilities include plan reviews of new site developments; new and modified commercial structures and multi-family dwellings; and fire protection systems. Additional duties include inspections of new construction for compliance with the applicable building and fire codes, as well as inspections of existing structures (except one and two-family dwellings) to ensure compliance with the fire prevention code adopted in an effort to reduce the risk of death and injury due to fire.
The County Fire Marshal typically conducts fire scene investigations to determine origin and cause and works closely with the local sheriff's department, district attorney's office, and other state/ federal agencies as needed in cases that involve suspected arson activity. The coordination of fire safety public education efforts is an important function of the County Fire Marshal's duties. In counties that have a countywide fire department, the County Fire Marshal's position can be created within that agency to carry out the provisions of T.C.A. § 5-17-102(8).
In counties that do not have a countywide fire department, the position can be created in accordance with T.C.A. § 5-6-121. The Fire Marshal may also function as a coordinator between the county and the independent fire departments that provide fire protection services to the unincorporated portions of the county.