Fire Marshal Division

Fire Codes & Investigation

The Fire Marshal Division manages fire codes and investigations. This division enforces the 2018 International Fire Code including Appendix B-Fire Flow Requirements for Buildings and Appendix C - Fire Hydrant Locations and Distribution.

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.

Plan Reviews

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 routine fire safety inspections of new and existing buildings. Some of the items checked, include annual fire extinguisher inspections, exit signs and emergency lighting with backup power, and means of egress obstruction. If you are opening a new business and need an inspection you can call the Fire Marshal's office at 931-560-1740.

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 931-560-1560.

Fire Sprinkler Plans

All fire sprinkler plans are submitted directly to the City of Columbia Fire Marshal's office. Two sets of paper plans or electronic 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.