Fire Codes & Investigation

The City of Columbia Fire Marshal’s office currently enforces the 2012 International Fire Code including Appendix B-Fire Flow Requirements for Buildings and Appendix C – Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution.

Currently, The City of Columbia is an exempt jurisdiction with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Only Educational (K-12, public or private), day-care centers (including adult day-care), all state owned and stated leased facilities, and all facilities requiring a State Fire Marshal inspection for initial licensure by another state department are required to be submitted to the State Fire Marshal’s Office for review.

The City of Columbia Fire Marshal’s office works closely with other city departments to ensure adopted fire code compliance. Our responsibilities include plan reviews, new and existing building inspections, beer permit inspections, inspection requests from the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services and the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, change of use requests, use of explosives (blasting), permitting fireworks sales and fire investigations.

Plans Review

The Fire Marshal’s office reviews plans for new buildings (including site), change of building use and fire sprinkler plans. New building and site plans are reviewed for fire department access, needed fire flow, fire hydrant locations, and adopted fire code compliance.

Fire Safety Inspection

The Fire Marshal’s office conducts periodic fire safety inspections of new and existing buildings. A notification of an upcoming fire safety inspection is mailed to the business prior to the fire safety inspection. Included in this notification is a Fire Safety Self Inspection Checklist. This Self Inspection Checklist will allow you to inspect and correct the most common fire code violations prior to our visit. You can also download the checklist by clicking it in our Useful Links section.

Change of Building Use or Occupancy

In the event of a change in a building’s designed use, a change of use permit is required to ensure life safety and fire risk hazards are recognized and addressed appropriately according to adopted codes. A change of use permit can be requested at the City of Columbia Code Administration Department located at City Hall, 700 North Garden Street, Columbia, TN 38401. Their phone number is 931-560-1540.

Explosives (blasting)

The City of Columbia Fire Marshal’s office requires notification of all blasting operations within the city limits of Columbia. All companies must provide contact phone numbers, proof of insurance (minimum one (1) million dollar liability) and a copy of the blasting company’s and blaster’s state licenses. Seismographic equipment, a pre-blast survey, locations of magazines and details concerning overnight storage or daily pickup are also required.

Fire Sprinkler Plans

All fire sprinkler plans are submitted directly to the City of Columbia Fire Marshal’s office. Three (3) set of plans must be submitted with the required information as specified in NFPA 13 or NFPA 13R. Fire sprinkler work must not begin until the fire sprinkler plans are approved.

If you have any questions regarding fire code compliance, please contact either the Fire Marshal or Assistant Fire Marshal at (931)-560-1740.

 Asst Fire Marshal
                                     CFR Asst Fire Marshal Keeton
Fire Marshal Billy Ring graduated from Spring Hill High School in 1983 and joined Columbia Fire & Rescue in March of 1997 as a firefighter. Since then he has been promoted to Driver in 2005, Assistant Fire Marshal 2014, and has held the rank of Fire Marshal since December of 2018.
                                    Assistant Fire Marshal Nathan Keeton graduated from Lawrence County High School in 1997 and started his fire service career as a volunteer with the Ethridge Fire Department in 1998. He joined Columbia Fire and Rescue as a Firefighter in 2006.  He was promoted to Driver/Engineer and has held the rank of Assistant Fire Marshal since 2018.