A Call To Action
Your Efforts Bring a Voice to Burn Survivors Everywhere
As a burn survivor or family member of a survivor, your personal story is critical to connecting real people and real lives to legislative issues.
We are often asked to add the survivor voice to importand issues at a city, state, and national level. If you are willing to be contacted to add your voice to important issues, contact us.
"I have been active with Phoenix Society since The Station Fire [Rhode Island]. I assist Phoenix Society as an advocate for sprinklers. A survivor's voice means a lot more than a politician’s voice. I just keep telling other survivors how they can help by using their own voice."
-Rob Feeney, Station Fire survivor, Phoenix Advocate
Tennessee Burn Survivors: We Need Your Voice! (9/5/17)
Please mark your calendars for 10am, Monday, September 11th in Nashville.
That’s when we are hoping you can personally attend a public hearing at the State Fire Marshal’s office to voice your support for moving Tennessee’s electrical code requirements from 2008 levels up to the current 2017 National Electrical Code. To settle for anything less will put lives at risk of burn injuries or death from electrical fires and other electrical issues in new home construction.
We need your help by testifying and/or sending a personal email to the Rulemaking committee (see below).
Wait – Didn’t We Just Do Something Like This?
Yes, in the spring. All of you, along with the TN Fire Marshal, fire prevention leaders and electrical experts put Tennessee on the brink of adopting 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC) standards, but the effort fell just short when a legislative committee bowed to special interest pressure from home builders.
The builders used their influence to sway legislators in voting down the expansion of electrical fire prevention devices in new home building. The builders claimed the $40 cost for these devices to prevent electrical fires (arc fault circuit interrupter breakers or AFCIs – that detect dangerous arcing and stop fires from starting – http://www.afcisafety.org), was just too much for people to pay and might prevent them from getting a home. It’s sad to think some builders would put their profit above public safety. AFCI circuit breakers have been preventing electrical fires in TN bedrooms for nearly 20 years. It’s well past time to expand them into kitchens and laundry areas where many electrical fires can occur.
It’s Not Over Until It’s Over!
Thankfully, the TN Dept. of Commerce and Insurance’s Department of Fire Prevention has decided to submit new plans to move Tennessee to the 2017 National Electrical Code requirements. This will keep Tennessee from falling nearly a decade behind other states in electrical fire and wiring protection.
What can I do to help?
1. Attend the Hearing
Monday, September 11 at 10 am at the State Fire Marshall’s office at 500 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN in conference room 1A.
We need you (burn survivors, burn unit nurses, firefighters, and others) to help explain why Tennessee needs to adopt the 2017 National Electrical Code without any amendments. Briefly tell your personal story and why electrical fire prevention is so important in new home construction. Tennessee should not be building homes with nearly 10 year old electrical safety requirements. That doesn’t save consumers money, it puts people’s lives at risk in unsafe homes with little to no electrical fire protection. There’s no reason Tennessee shouldn’t be following the National Electrical Code requirements used in other states to build new homes. Fire protection should be a top priority to protect the lives of families statewide. A special interest group’s profit should not be put above the public safety of Tennesseans exposing them to the dangers of electrical fires. Electrical fire prevention devices like arc fault circuit interrupters detect and stop dangerous arcing. They need to be expanded to required NEC levels throughout the home, including into kitchens and laundry areas.
2. Send An Email
Send the email below to the Tennessee Commerce and Insurance – Fire Prevention – Electrical and Residential division members and Governor’s staff. For the Governor – click here and select “email us.” You will need to fill in your information and then copy and paste the email below into the space provided.
Subject: Please Adopt the 2017 NEC Without Amendments
Dear TN Fire Prevention members and Governor Haslam:
My name is _________ and I live in _________. I am a [burn survivor, doctor, firefighter, burn unit nurse, other]. (Share your story of why this issue is important to you and the life-long impact of a burn injury.)
New homes being built in Tennessee deserve the same level of required electrical fire protection as the rest of the country. On Monday, September 11th, the Fire Prevention/Electrical & Residential division of TN Commerce and Insurance will be holding a Public Rulemaking Hearing to advance Tennessee to the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC). I strongly urge you to support adoption of the 2017 NEC without amendments to ensure the fullest electrical and electrical fire protection. We should not be building homes to electrical safety standards that are nearly a decade old.
As you know, our state lost 10 people, including seven children, to a devastating electrical fire in Memphis last year. That blaze was caused by a damaged electrical cord. Firefighters wept, calling it one of the worst fire scenes they had ever experienced. Had that home been newer, it would have likely been equipped under TN law with fire prevention devices called arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). AFCI breakers detect dangerous arcing in wiring and stop these types of electrical fires before they can start. Under the 2017 NEC, new homes would be required to have these devices, including an expansion into the kitchen and laundry room areas of the home, where many electrical appliances and devices are now used. Tennessee is already requiring these devices in bedrooms. Why would we stop this now?
The Tennessee State Fire Marshal, firefighters and chiefs, electrical inspectors, burn survivors and many others support this proven technology that is a requirement in 48 other states. Without these updated requirements, Tennessee will be building new homes under severely weakened electrical and fire safety standards dating back a decade. Some home builders claim a $40 cost for these devices is too much and that consumers would be better served spending that money on something the builders sell like granite countertops or high-end cabinetry. That argument puts the builder’s profits above public safety. We ask you not to let that happen.
This is an issue of common sense and truly life and death.
Keep and expand AFCI requirements being used around the country. Don’t scale back fire safety in Tennessee.
AFCIs are proven fire prevention devices that detect dangerous arcing and shut down electrical systems to stop fires before they can start. We need to expand use of these devices to protect families and children. It’s time to move Tennessee into compliance with the 2017 NEC requirements. Please stand up for electrical fire safety in Tennessee and expand AFCIs. Thank you.
Please make the call and send your email today!
Amy Acton, RN, BSN