Greeneville Fire Chief Mark Foulks gave a recent presentation at the Tennessee Fire & Codes Enforcement Academy in Bell Buckle.
Foulks spoke about the programs Greeneville has used to reduce the number of structure fires and resulting injuries and deaths.
His remarks at the June 14 event were part of a summit on ways to reduce the fire mortality rate in Tennessee.
The summit was attended by approximately 50 fire service leaders from across the state.
Structure fires in Greeneville have been declining in recent years due to aggressive fire prevention and community safety programs, according to Foulks.
In 2007, Greeneville Fire Department (GFD) was awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Programs.
The program provided 2,700 smoke alarms that were installed in homes by GFD members as well as a fire extinguisher simulator and other public education equipment.
These programs were initiated along with a structured public education program in all Greeneville City Elementary Schools, the fire chief said.
The programs have proved to be very successful, Foulks said.
FEWER STRUCTURE FIRES
According to data submitted to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, prior to 2007 the amount of structure fires in Greeneville averaged 39 annually.
The leading cause of those fires was cooking, with fires caused by heating following closely behind.
The average annual incidence of structure fires from 2007 to 2011 was reduced to 19, and even greater improvement occurred in 2012 with the number of structure fires being 15.
Of those structure fires occurring in 2012, only one was caused by cooking, and none were caused by heating, showing that preventable causes of fires have been influenced by the fire prevention programs.
For more information about the Greeneville Fire Department, visit the Town's website at http://www.greenevilletn.gov. To view more photos of fire prevention activities in Greeneville City Schools, visit http://www.facebook.com/TownofGreeneville or http://www.facebook.com/GreenevilleFireDepartment.