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Current Fire Code

The City of Knoxville has adopted the 2012 Edition of the International Fire Code (IFC).

The IFC can be accessed through the following website: http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/index.htm

Below are some general guidelines related to the City's Fire Code. For specific questions regarding enforcement or interpretation of these codes, please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 865-215-2283.

Fire Extinguishers

1. Non-sprinklered multi-family dwellings are required to have a 2 1/2 lb. 1-A:10-B:C fire extinguisher in the unit and a 5 lb. 2-A:10-B:C extinguisher in code compliant locations in corridors and other common areas.
2. The extinguisher shall be mounted and certified with the appropriate tag clearly visible.
3. Mount the extinguisher, either on a wall or in a cabinet, so the top of the extinguisher is no higher than 5 feet or the bottom of the extinguisher is no lower than 1 foot.
4. Travel distance to an extinguisher for ordinary hazard combustibles can be no more than 75 feet.
5. All fire extinguishers must comply with NFPA 10 to include a certification at installation and annually thereafter.
6. ABC fire extinguishers must be hydrostatically tested once every 12 years.

Fire Hydrants

1. Do not plant anything in front of the hydrant facing the road.
2. Do not plant anything within a three foot radius of the hydrant.
3. Fire hydrants should be maintained and flushed once a year.
4. Fire hydrants should be flowed every 5 years.
     a. Click here for a copy of the hydrant flow test report in PDF format.

Fire Alarm Systems

1. Fire Alarm Systems are required to be registered with the City of Knoxville by either the owner or the alarm provider.
2. Registration forms can be completed online at www.knox911.org by using the link for False Alarm Ordinance Registration Form. A copy of the ordinance can also be printed from this website.
3. For questions concerning the program, please contact 865-215-1100.

Sprinkler Systems

1. If replacing or modifying more than 20 sprinkler heads, sprinkler plans must be submitted to the Fire Prevention Bureau.
2. For specific questions concerning sprinkler plans reviews, please contact Captain Kevin Bost at 865-215-2283.

Address Numbers

1. Must be visible from the street
2. Must be at least 4 inches in height.
3. Must be reflective to light and a contrasting color from the background.
4. Must be placed on rear doors of any multi-occupancy buildings such as strip malls.

Smoke Alarms and Smoke Detectors (NFPA 72)

1. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be located where ambient conditions, including humidity and temperature, are outside the limits specified by the manufacturer's published instructions.
2. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be located within unfinished attics or garages or in other spaces where temperatures can fall below 40 degrees F or exceed 100 degrees F.
3. Where the mounting surface could become considerably warmer or cooler than the room, such as poorly insulated ceiling below an unfinished attic or an exterior wall, smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall be mounted on an inside wall.
4. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors installed within a 20 ft. horizontal path of a cooking appliance shall be equipped with an alarm-silencing means or be of the photoelectric type.
5. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 36 in. horizontal path from a door to a bathroom containing a shower or tub.
6. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 36 in. horizontal path from the supply registers of a forced air heating or cooling system and shall be installed outside of the direct airflow from those registers.
7. Smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall not be installed within a 36 in. horizontal path from the tip of the blade of a ceiling-suspended (paddle) fan.
8. Where stairs lead to other occupied levels, a smoke alarm or smoke detector shall be located so that smoke rising in the stairway cannot be prevented from reaching the smoke alarm or smoke detector by an intervening door or obstruction.
9. For stairways leading up from a basement, smoke alarms or smoke detectors shall be located on the basement ceiling near the entry to the stairs.
10. For tray-shaped ceiling (coffered ceiling) smoke alarms and smoke detectors shall be installed on the highest portion of the ceiling or on the sloped portion of the ceiling within 12 in. vertically down from the highest point.

Open Burning

Open burning, including recreational or ceremonial fires, charcoal/gas grills and portable outdoor fireplaces, are allowed within the City limits under the following guidelines:

1. The fire is located a minimum of 25 feet from the nearest structure or other combustible substances, including vegetation. Exception: portable outdoor fireplaces are allowed within 15 feet.
2. Flames are not to exceed 24 inches in height and 36 inches in diameter.
3. The fire must be surrounded with block or brick, unless in an approved container.
4. No rubbish or refuse (household waste) is to be burned.
5. There must be a source of extinguishment at the site, such as a charged water hose or proper fire extinguisher.
6. The fire shall be constantly attended until it is extinguished.
7. If the fire constitutes a hazardous condition, the Authority Having Jurisdiction shall be authorized to require the fire to be immediately discontinued.

Charcoal / Gas Grills

The following guidelines are for multifamily dwellings provided they are not on combustible decks, porches or balconies.

1. No rubbish or refuse (household waste) is to be burned.
2. The grill is located a minimum of 10 feet from the nearest structure.
3. There must be a source of extinguishment at the site (a charged water hose or proper fire extinguisher).
4. A competent person shall constantly attend the grill until it is extinguished.

Burning of refuse

1. It is unlawful for any person to start or maintain, or cause to be started or maintained, any open ground fire or any fire in an open can, barrel or other open container for the purpose of burning or consuming refuse or garbage... except as provided in the fire prevention code of the city and as permitted under local and state air pollution control regulations.
2. Burning of refuse or garbage is not permitted on any street within the City, or on public or private property within the City limits, except as permitted by the fire prevention code and by the local and state air pollution control regulations.
3. Contact the Knox County Air Quality Management for a burn permit at www.knoxcounty.org/airquality or call 865-215-5900.



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