Your Neighborhood Toolbox
Here are some important animal-related codes to remember and follow. Click the section number to read the code in full.
Sec. 14-4. – Trapping, shooting, hunting, molesting birds. “It shall be unlawful to trap, shoot, hunt or attempt to shoot or molest in any manner any bird or wild fowl or to rob birds’ nests or wild fowl nests.”
Sec. 14-5. – Running at large. “It shall be unlawful for any person to suffer or permit any animal he owns or that is under his care, custody or control to run at large.” Under Section 14-33, “a dog shall not be deemed running at large if accompanied by a person” and on a leash.
Sec. 14-34.– Vicious dogs. “It shall be unlawful for any person to keep a vicious dog, unless it is kept securely confined upon its own premises. A vicious dog has previously bitten a person or another animal or has fits of rage during which it may attack, bite or jump on a person or other animal and cause physical harm.”
Sec. 14-35. – Number restricted. “It shall be unlawful for any person to keep over five canines over 12 months of age on any premises.” This code does not apply to kennels.
ARTICLE III. – Rabies Control. Any person who has a cat or dog must inoculate the animal against rabies. The animal must wear a tag from the veterinarian stating that it’s been inoculated, and the owner much keep the certificate proving it.
ARTICLE IV.– Impoundment. This article authorizes animal control officers to impound any animal found to violate any of the codes in the animal-related chapter. If the officer can obtain the owner’s information from a tag, the owner may be cited to appear in court instead of impounding the animal. It’s unlawful to interfere with impounding. An impounded animal will be held for several days, during which time the officer will attempt to contact the owner.
The city has some criteria for what makes a property unfit for human occupation or use. A building official will inspect the property to determine if the property’s conditions are potentially dangerous or unhealthy for the property’s occupants, occupants of neighboring buildings, and other residents of the city. What are these conditions?
- Defects that increase the risk of fire, accidents, or other calamities
- Lack of adequate ventilation, light, or sanitary facilities
- Structural defects
An unoccupied property, like a house that the owners don’t live in anymore, might meet some of these criteria. If there’s a derelict property near you that you’d like to do something about, either a public authority or a group of five or more concerned citizens must file a petition with the building official.
These cases do require extensive research and often take a long time to be resolved. There’s a lot of legal protocol the city must follow before it can take any action, and sometimes proceedings can take months.
With that in mind, if you suspect a code violation in your neighborhood, follow this link for the reporting form. You can also contact Melanie Adkins, the city’s Code Enforcement Officer, by calling (423)224-2633.
Enforcing The Codes
The City of Kingsport has a lot of general and permanent ordinances that must be followed. Kingsport residents must also abide by state and federal laws. These are all are written and enforced in an effort to keep you safe and provide order and function to the city.
Kingsport’s current Code of Ordinances was adopted in 2012. For an easy-to-navigate online version of the full text of Kingsport’s Code of Ordinances, you can follow this link here.
The city enforces all codes, but most big-ticket violations relate to building, zoning, and property maintenance. Some common code violations include dilapidation, issues with fences or swimming pools, high grass, abandoned or inoperable vehicles, and junk or trash (care of premises).
If you have any questions, the city has an FAQ about code enforcement that you can find at this page.
If you suspect a code violation, please visit this page. On some other pages in the Toolbox, we’ve detailed a few codes that might affect you on a day-to-day basis. If we didn’t talk about something you’re curious about, you can try using the search tool in the online Code of Ordinances linked above to find what you’re looking for.
A lot of the environmental codes have to do with municipal stormwater management, but you really only have to worry about the ones that deal with litter! We’ve simplified them here for you, but remember to follow the link if you want more detailed information.
ARTICLE II. – Litter Most of this article boils down to one essential rule: littering in any way, shape, or form is not permissible and subject to fines of no less than $25. Littering is defined in obvious ways, like just dropping your trash on the ground, and less obvious ones, like trash falling from your truck bed onto the road. It’s also your responsibility to keep your private property litter-free.
Sec. 38-33. – Posting notices. “No person shall post or affix any notice, poster or other paper or device calculated to attract attention of the public to any lamppost, public utility pole or tree or upon any public structure or building, except as may be authorized or permitted by law.” This means you’re not allowed to tack flyers for upcoming neighborhood events on utility poles or lampposts, on the chance that it might damage the poles and posts.
Sec. 38-34. – Abandoned automobiles. “It shall be unlawful for any person to permit, suffer or allow the accumulation of any old, abandoned or worthless automobile or parts thereof upon any private property or vacant lot owned, occupied or under the control of such person. Such accumulation is declared a nuisance.” This section goes on to say that you won’t be penalized if, after the city gives you notice to remove the abandoned automobiles, you do actually remove them. Otherwise, you’ll be found in violation of this code.
Chapter 46 of the Code of Ordinances is titled Human Relations, but mostly it has to do with fair housing. This code reflects the federal policies enacted in the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
You can read the chapter in full here. What it comes down to is that it is unlawful to treat someone unequally when trying to buy, sell, rent, lease, or finance a home based on “race, color, creed, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.”
The article goes into great detail about the different forms that discrimination could take. It could be something as obvious as blatant refusal to rent or sell to someone based on those characteristics, or it could be an advertisement that implies discrimination more discreetly.
There are certain exemptions, such as for religious organizations that own or operate dwellings intended for other members of that same religion. You can read more about the exemptions here.
Sidewalks and Bike Lanes
Alternative methods of travel like pedestrian paths and bike trails are a great way to get around somewhere without a car. Walking and biking are healthy exercise, and the availability of these alternatives increases the livability of a city. Kingsport promotes these activities in a number of ways.
The City of Kingsport has a code, listed in its Code of Ordinances, that gets more specific about new sidewalk construction. According to the code, “sidewalks shall be constructed along the street frontage, except for limited access highway frontage (Interstate 81, Interstate 26 and John B. Dennis Highway), of all industrial, commercial, office, professional, semipublic and multifamily residential developments whenever a new principal structure is built or erected.”
This means that, as new construction arises, so will new sidewalks.
There’s an additional code about “alternative methods of pedestrian mobility,” which provides that in certain circumstances a bike lane, greenway, or similar mode of nonvehicular activity may be more appropriate than a standard sidewalk. If that’s the case, property owners can submit requests to the city engineer. The planning commission shall then approve or reject the proposal.
For more information on the codes mentioned above, please refer to their full text in the city’s Code of Ordinances. The sidewalk code is found at Sec. 90-184. The code on alternative methods of pedestrian mobility is Sec. 90-190.
Important Information About Your Home and Neighborhood
MyKingsport is an easy way to learn information relevant to your residence within the city limits of Kingsport!
All you have to do is navigate to the city’s webpage at https://www.kingsporttn.gov/ and find the tab that says MyKingsport. (Tip: It’s the tab that’s selected by default, so you shouldn’t have to search too hard.) Input your address, hit enter, and MyKingsport will find information for you about sanitation services, emergency services, political information, and location information.
This is handy if your neighborhood has recently been annexed and you’re not sure what that changes for you, or if you’re simply curious about where you live!
Pay Your Bills Online
Did you know you can pay your utilities, red light citations, and other accounts receivable bills online through the City of Kingsport’s website? Navigate to the homepage and click on the tab that says “Pay Online.”
Click which bill you’d like to pay, and a new tab will open that should walk you through the payment process
Please note that “Pay Water (Utility) Bill” will only work for you if you receive water through Kingsport. Most city residents do, but if you’re not sure, head back to the city’s website. If you click the tab that says, “My Kingsport,” you can input your address.
On the page of information My Kingsport returns, look for “Water Department: Kingsport” in the third column. If you see this, that means you get water through the city.
Renew Your Tags
Renewing your vehicle tags doesn’t have to be a hassle! The Sullivan County Clerk’s Office, which handles tag renewals for all Kingsport residents in Sullivan County, offers you two different options.
You can visit the county clerk at the Kingsport location at 408 Clay Street. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are other offices in Blountville and Bristol.
If you don’t want to go in person, Sullivan County now offers online tag renewal. For either option, you’ll need to know your license plate and title number.
If you live out in Allandale or Rotherwood, you may be in Hawkins County. To find out for sure, you can use the “My Kingsport” function on the city’s website. Click the tab and search your address to bring up your information. If you see Hawkins anywhere under the “Police” section instead of Kingsport or Sullivan, you live in Hawkins County.
Hawkins County residents can renew their tags online at this link.
Report A Pothole
Welcome to ConnectKingsport—the app for everything Kingsport! From potholes and damaged street signs to other local issues that need attention, ConnectKingsport makes reporting an issue easier than ever. This app uses GPS to recognize your location and gives you a menu of common quality-of-life conditions to select from. The app also allows you to upload pictures or videos to accompany your request. Residents can track the status of reports they or other members of the community have submitted until the issue is resolved.
You can also use the app to find information about the City of Kingsport with links to the city website, animal services, ongoing events and more. Download the free app today to be a part of making Kingsport a great place to live, work and play!
To use the online portal instead, please visit this link.
Please note that the use of ConnectKingsport is intended for the reporting of non-emergency issues only. If you need immediate Police or Fire response, please call 911.
Stay Up To Date
Have you ever been driving to work or the store and suddenly come upon a closed road sign? We know how frustrating it can be to have to reroute your commute! Or maybe your water is off, but you know you paid your bill this month—what gives?
There’s a Facebook page for that! Kingsport Alerts is a page that’s managed by the city to alert you to all kinds of important news updates. That includes road closures, water outages, trash schedule changes, and everything else that might affect your day. Additionally, you might see reminders about municipal holidays or election days.
“Like” the page on Facebook to see posts on your news feed. If you want to stay as up to date as possible, you can change your settings to always see Kingsport Alerts’ posts at the very top of your news feed. Simply navigate to the main page, look for the “Following” dropdown menu beneath the banner, and change the setting to “See First.”
If you’re not on Facebook, this same information is available on the city’s website, under “News” and “Notices and Outages.” You can find that page here.
Form A Neighborhood Association
A neighborhood association is a group of people living in the same area who come together to solve problems, accomplish goals, and represent that neighborhood as a whole. An association can be made up of anyone who lives or works in that neighborhood—homeowners, renters, business owners, school faculty, and religious leaders. Neighborhood associations help you love where you live!
While the City of Kingsport does not currently have a process for forming neighborhood associations, many neighborhoods form them on their own. Follow these simple steps to form an association in your neighborhood:
1) Start with a few committed individuals to identify the needs and goals of the neighborhood.
2) Schedule regular meetings, and set ground rules for how those meetings should proceed.
3) Set boundaries for the neighborhood. What households are included?
4) Develop a neighborhood plan that includes why the association was formed, what its goals are, and an action plan for accomplishing those goals.
5) Establish committees to tackle specific issues, such as a By-Law Committee, Crime Reduction Committee or a Green Committee.
6) Communicate regularly with the neighborhood at large to be sure the association is addressing issues the people care about.
Form A Neighborhood Watch
Establishing an organized, well-run Neighborhood Watch is a great way not only to help prevent crime in your neighborhood, but to build closer relationships between neighbors. You’ll need neighbors who are interested in watching out for and alerting others about potentially dangerous activity in your area. Neighborhood Watches take time and dedication, as well as support from law enforcement, but if run correctly, they can increase the overall safety of your neighborhood.
Here are some basic steps you can take to establish a Neighborhood Watch in your area.
1. Gauge interest by asking neighbors how they would feel about having a Neighborhood Watch, and if they’d be willing to be a part of it. You can also use this as an opportunity to ask your neighbors if they have any safety concerns.
2. Reach out to our local law enforcement to remind them of your community’s concerns, and ask what they might be able to do to help you.
3. Create an accurate map of the area your watch will keep an eye on, and be sure to mark houses that are interested.
4. Choose a coordinator or co-coordinators who will keep in contact with law enforcement and develop projects that will contribute to the betterment of your community. Appointing block captains is another good idea.
5. Have regular meetings where community members can voice their concerns and the watch can decide on action plans.
6. Train phone tree volunteers who will help spread information should a safety alert arise.
Neighborhood Watches are an involved but helpful community program. National Neighborhood Watch Institute has a lot of resources available to help you, including more detailed information about starting a watch compiled in a handbook.
Here’s a checklist from the National Crime Prevention Council that helps you make sure you’ve done everything you need to do to get your Neighborhood Watch off the ground.
The City of Kingsport provides garbage collection service to any household within city limits. Every household can receive one garbage cart for a sanitation fee of just $8 a month. If you need more garbage carts, you can purchase one for $60, with an additional sanitation fee of $8 a month per extra cart.
Garbage collection usually runs Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Sanitation Department requests that you have your garbage carts at the curbside by no later than 7 a.m on your scheduled collection day.
To find out when your garbage and yard waste collection days are, please visit www.kingsporttn.gov. Enter your address in the search bar on the My Kingsport tab to receive information about city services related to your residence—including trash pick-up!
For more information about garbage collection services, call (423)229-9451.
Kingsport is dedicated to providing a clean, healthy city for all of its residents.
Please help the city by disposing of all waste in the proper receptacles. Litter hurts everyone!
For information on holiday schedules changes, click here.
For information on recycling, click here.
Keep Kingsport Beautiful
Nestled in the Holston River Valley, Kingsport certainly is a beautiful place to live—but it doesn’t stay that way without effort. Keep Kingsport Beautiful leads the way in beautifying and maintaining our city.
Keep Kingsport Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is a joint program between the City of Kingsport and the Kingsport Chamber Foundation. Through its mission to involve the community in responsible solutions for a clean and beautiful environment, Keep Kingsport Beautiful has won over 60 national, state, and other environmental awards since its formation in 1980.
Find out more about Keep Kingsport beautiful at its webpage here.
Visit Keep Kingsport Beautiful’s Facebook page to see some of its efforts.
Picking Up After Pets
UNAPPROVED DRAFT: Kingsport Pet Waste Ordinance
It shall be unlawful for any person to appear with an animal upon the public right-ofway, within public places or upon the property of another, absent that person’s consent, without some means for removal of excrement that may be deposited by the animal.
(A)It shall be unlawful for any person who is an owner or possessor of an animal in their care to fail to remove any excrement deposited by the animal upon any public or private property, other that the property of the owner of the animal.
(B) The provisions of this Section shall not apply to persons who have a physical disability or visual impairment, who are using service dogs, and can provide adequate documentation, upon demand of an animal control officer or law enforcement officer, that the service dog is an animal trained by an accredited instruction which trains dogs for service work for the physically disabled of visually impaired
(C) Violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50, plus applicable court costs.
PENDING APPROVAL BY NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION, PLANNING DEPARTMENT AND BMA.
What to donate:
- Boxed meals
- Lean proteins (e.g. canned tuna)
- Even specialty foods like olive oil, dressings or marinades can be helpful if they don’t need to be refrigerated.
- Instant oatmeal packets, original flavor
- Brown rice (16 oz)
- Whole grain pasta (16 oz)
- Tuna, Salmon, or Chicken, in water
- Dry or canned beans (low sodium)
- Natural nut butters
- Fruits & Vegetables
- Canned vegetables (low sodium)
- Canned fruit (in juice)
- Fruit cups
- Other Healthy Items
- Shelf-stable, individual milk boxes
- Cooking oils & spices
- Infant formula & baby foods
Register A Fun Fest Block Party
Fun Fest always begins with a series of block parties hosted all across Kingsport the weekend before the official kick-off of festivities. Block parties are a great way to bring the community together and get everyone excited for Fun Fest, the best part of summer in Kingsport.
While a traditional block party is held on a public street where any community member is welcome, any kind of party can be a Fun Fest Block Party. Whether it’s a private party for twenty in the backyard pool, a huge barbeque where the whole neighborhood is invited, or a company soiree, it qualifies so long as you do the paperwork.
Fun Fest will register the first 100 applicants as official Fun Fest Block Parties. Submissions are typically due a week prior to block party weekend—the weekend before Fun Fest officially begins.
A registered Fun Fest Block Party qualifies for all kinds of goodies in a free Block Party Kit. You’ll receive posters and Block Party souvenir cups. In 2018, Kingsport Neighborhood Commission’s first year celebrating Fun Fest, we donated boxes of chalk to help you decorate!
You can apply to host an official Fun Fest Block Party at http://www.funfest.net.
Every licensed driver had to pass their driver’s test, but maybe it’s been a while and you’ve forgotten some things! This section includes tips about road, car, and car seat safety and traffic calming measures to help you reach your destination safely and keep everyone on the road around you safe as well.
Driving Safety The most important thing to remember about driving is that the road is a shared space. Those are your neighbors driving alongside you, so it’s important to be aware of their safety as much as looking out for your own! Here a few reminders about safe behavior on the road:
• Obey all posted speed limits and road signs.
• Always wear your seatbelt.
• Always use your turn signals, even when merging onto the highway.
• Keep your eyes moving—check mirrors every 6-8 seconds, watch out for speed limits changes or any obstacles on the road, and always check your blind spots before merging. An attentive driver is a safe driver!
• Come to a complete stop at all stop signs and pause before continuing. The same way you would if you were crossing a road on foot, check that the way is clear before you go.
• Expect other drivers to make mistakes and be prepared to respond.
• Never text or talk on the phone while driving. If you must make or answer a call, use a handsfree system and don’t get distracted.
• Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Yield to all emergency vehicles with active lights—they have the right of way. This is part of Tennessee’s “Move Over” law, which also requires you to change lanes when passing emergency vehicles. If you can’t move over, slow down to ensure the safety of emergency personnel.
• During inclement weather, be careful with your breaks. A lot of us might want to break hard, but breaking slowly and gradually is the safest choice.
A lot of these aren’t just tips—they’re laws. You can read a list of the top 10 traffic laws in Tennessee here. The TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security has a list of road safety tips you can read here. Please review safety tips and traffic laws regularly, because it’s easy to forget the details.
Though we think of them as commonplace now, it wasn’t so long ago that cars were a futuristic new invention. It’s important to be familiar with your car—how it handles, its service history, and how it’s running. You should take your car in for regular service and stay abreast of any manufacturer recalls that might be issued.
Watch for any service lights that come on in your dashboard. If you don’t know what a particular light means, check your driver’s manual for an explanation.
Keep an eye on your gas gauge, and have a plan for what happens if you do run out. It’s unsafe to store extra gasoline in your car for long periods of time because of how flammable it is, but be sure to have someone you can call.
Car Seat Safety
Tennessee was the first state to enact a law requiring the use of safety seats for all child passengers. Children under one should be in rear-facing car seats, children one to three should be in front-facing car seats, and children four to eight should be secured using a booster seat system. Any child older than eight should be secured with a seat belt.
While the above is a general overview, the law has more specific height and weight requirements than what’s listed. To review the law in full to make sure you’re securing your child correctly, please follow this link.
Here are some additional tips for driving safely with a child passenger:
• The back seat is the best—for children of all ages.
• Check your car manual for appropriate places for child safety seats.
• Be wary of toys in the car. Soft, plush toys are best for car rides because they won’t injure your child in the event of an accident.
• Wear your seat belt to set a good example for your child and keep yourself safe.
• Never leave your child unattended in the car for any amount of time or any reason.
Speed bumps and other traffic calming measures can be helpful, but they can cause problems too! Here are some pros and cons to consider:
– Reduce traffic speed
– Reduce traffic volume
– Make pedestrians and bikers safer
– Bad for your car’s shocks
– Cause poor street drainage
– Hard for emergency vehicles to navigate
If you would like to request traffic calming measures in your neighborhood, please call (423)229-9487.
Halloween is a fun holiday for the whole family! While you’re out trick-or-treating, be sure to stay in a group. Don’t let young children wander off by themselves. It’s best to choose a safe, slow-moving neighborhood with few entry/exit points, even if that means you have to drive a little out of the way. Trunk-or-Treat parties around town are a great alternative to standard trick-or-treating. Be sure to check your children’s candy for any safety concerns such a allergies or tampering.
Remember, costumes are for Halloween! There are exceptions for children under 16 on Halloween, theatrical performances, and other lawful character impersonation, but generally speaking, city code states that it is unlawful to wear masks, false faces, or any other disguises while on public property.
You can read more Halloween safety tips from the Kingsport Police Department here.
More fires are reported on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year, and most of those fires are caused by fireworks. The National Fire Prevention Association’s official stance is that you shouldn’t use consumer fireworks because of the risk of fire or injury. Your safest option will always be to attend a professional fireworks show like the one Kingsport has downtown every year.
However, if you do want to use fireworks at home, here are some safety tips you can follow to ensure that the night is fun and fire-free:
• Always read the directions label on your fireworks clearly and carefully.
• A responsible, sober adult should supervise all fireworks. Never let your children light fireworks, and if you give them sparklers, keep a close eye on them.
• Only use fireworks outdoors in a clear, open area.
• Keep a bucket of water or hose nearby for accidents. If a fire starts, call 911.
• Keep your pets indoors and out of the way, for their safety and yours.
No matter what you celebrate, winter is a magical season! All those decorations can pose a safety hazard, however. Follow these tips to ensure your holidays stay happy:
• Clean your chimney regularly. Dirty chimneys are a fire risk.
• Make sure any holiday lights you hang outside are meant for outdoor use.
• Don’t overload electrical circuits or extension cords.
• Practice ladder safety when hanging lights or decorations or climbing in and out of your attic. Ask a family member or friend to spot you.
• Turn off all indoor and outdoor lights before going to bed or leaving your home. An easy way to remember is to set your lights on timers, which plug directly into the wall and shut off at a time you designate.
• Keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources, such as radiators and fireplaces. If your tree is live, keep it well watered to prevent it drying out.
• Place your menorah or candles on a stable, non-flammable service away from curtains and other flammable items. Be sure children and pets can’t reach the flames, and blow them out when you leave the room.
• Be careful in the kitchen—don’t leave cooking food unattended.
Keeping Animals Safe
General Pet Safety
We love our pets, but left to their own devices, they can get into some trouble! Here’s a few tips for keeping your pets (and your neighbors) safe:
• Keep your pets properly restrained/contained at all times. Whether this means a leash, a fence, or keeping them indoors, it’s safer for everyone if you keep your pet under control. It’s also part of city code!
• Be sure to take your pet into the veterinarian for regular check-ups. Remember, your pets can’t talk to tell you what’s wrong!
• Make sure your pets always have access to clean, fresh water—especially when it’s hot outside.
• Never leave your pets unattended in a parked vehicle or by the pool.
• Remember, if it’s too hot or too cold for you, then the same is true for your pet.
If you see a stray animal in your neighborhood, please approach with caution. You can’t guess how a strange animal will behave when approached by someone unfamiliar, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. If the animal is friendly and lets you come close, check to see if it has tags first. If it does, alert the owner that you’ve found their pet— chances are they’ve been looking.
If the animal doesn’t have any tags, we suggest taking it to a local veterinarian or animal shelter to check for a microchip. Information on a microchip can identify a cat or dog the same way tags might, only they’re a lot harder to lose! We recommend microchipping your animals.
If the animal has no microchip, the best move—if you’re able—is to look after it for a few days while you search for the owner. Again, if this is someone’s pet, they’re probably looking, too. Post pictures on Facebook and ask your friends to share them. Tri-Cities Lost & Found Pets is a great resource for this, and probably better than posting flyers.
If you can’t look after the animal or an owner never comes forward, please take the pet to a local animal shelter.
If the stray animal is unfriendly or seems dangerous, please call Petworks Animal Control at (423)247-1671. Do not under any circumstances approach an animal you suspect may have rabies.
Bothersome or Neglected Pets
If your neighbors have a noisy or destructive pet or you suspect animal abuse, we suggest talking to them about it face-to-face first. It’s better to resolve issues yourselves if you can and you feel safe doing so! If the problem persists, again, call Petworks at the number above. Their animal control officers can issue citations for things like noise complaints or animal abuse.
Paving Your Streets
How many roads does Kingsport have? 499 miles worth!
Pave Kingsport is a sustainable paving plan that the city began work on in 2016. The first step of the plan was to evaluate all roads within city limits. Based on these evaluations, the City of Kingsport has developed a sustainable paving plan to get our roads back on track.
The average lifespan of a road should be between 20 and 25 years, but due to underfunding, Kingsport roads have typically gone 60 years without repaving. The city’s sustainable paving plan will get that average back down to that 20-25 year cycle.
Smooth, well-paved roads are fundamental to any city, and poorly maintained ones pose safety risks and inhibit residents in their everyday lives. Kingsport is committed to maintaining its roads so citizens can get around the city easily and safely.
Watch a video about Pave Kingsport.
See the map of paving area rankings.
Learn more about Pave Kingsport by visiting the website, which includes a list of frequently asked questions, at http://pavekingsport.com.
Staying Safe in a Fire
Fires can cause a lot of damage—both to you and your home! U.S. fire departments respond to an average of more than 300,000 home fires a year. Some of the top causes are candles, cooking, faulty electrical wires, and heating systems. Follow these tips to do everything you can to ensure that your home doesn’t become a statistic.
- Home Fire Escape
- Smoke Detectors
- Home Sprinklers Systems
- Fire Extinguishers
- Additional Resources
Home Fire Escape
It’s important to know what your family will do in the event of a fire. You probably watched videos on this in grade school about having a plan—and for good reason!
Sit down with your family and make an escape plan. The National Fire Protection Association recommends you know at least two ways to escape every room in your home. Your children should know how to escape on their own, in case a fire separates you from them. It’s especially important to plan feasible escape routes for people in your home with disabilities. You should set a meeting point outside—something permanent like a street sign or a tree—that’s a safe distance from your home.
Make sure everyone in your home knows how to call 911. Also remember that it is never safe for you to re-enter a burning building—that’s the firefighters’ jobs, and you should let them do what they’re trained for. A home fire can be scary, but if everyone is prepared and knows what to do in an emergency, you’ll greatly reduce your family’s chances of injury or death.
Smoke detectors are the most common way to prevent home fires. City code dictates that every home must have a smoke detector. The code also says those detectors must be regularly maintained by cleaning them and replacing their batteries. That is to say, your smoke detector has to work.
Having a working smoke detector in your home is in your best interest, too. Smoke detectors make it easier to keep your family safe by alerting you to smoke—and therefore fire—before it’s too late. They cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. It’s good for your neighbors, too, because if your home catches fire, it might spread. Interconnecting your smoke detectors, either by a qualified electrician or installing battery-operated wireless interconnected alarms, is especially important if your home is large or you sleep with the doors closed.
If anyone in your household is deaf or hard of hearing, be sure that your smoke alarms accommodate them. Whether this includes flashing strobe lights, a shaking bed, or some other form of alarm is up to you, but it’s important to be sure that everyone in your home will be warned properly should a fire start.
Remember—a smoke detector only detects the smoke; it doesn’t do anything about it. If your alarm goes off, the safest thing to do is call 911.
Home Sprinkler Systems
Home sprinkler systems are useful because they will reduce the heat, flames, and smoke of an active fire. This will allow you more time to safely exit your home while you wait on the fire department to arrive. Sprinkler systems can also significantly reduce the water damage done to your home, because if the fire’s small enough, they’ll be able to put it out and the firefighters won’t need to use a hose.
A qualified contractor can install a sprinkler system in your home, but—like smoke detectors—they require regular maintenance and checks to ensure they’re still working. FIRE SAFETY — Prepared by the Kingsport Neighborhood Commission | Love Where You Live Used in conjunction with smoke detectors, home sprinkler systems help prevent fires and save lives.
While firefighting should always be left to the professionals, fire extinguishers can help put out small fires or allow you time to escape. You should only use a fire extinguisher if you are trained to do so, and you should never use a fire extinguisher to try to control a fire. Children should never be trained or allowed to use fire extinguishers.
Keep your fire extinguisher in the place mostly likely for fire to start. For most homes, this is the kitchen. You should not have to travel up or down stairs to reach it.
If you’re trained to use a fire extinguisher, before using it you should make sure that 1) everyone else is leaving the home 2) someone is calling 911 3) the fire is small, contained, and not spreading and 4) you have a clear escape route and will not be overcome by smoke or fumes.
For more information about fire prevention and safety, contact the Kingsport Fire Department for educational resources or see the NFPA’s webpage on Public Education here.
For information about fire and fall safety for senior citizens, refer to NFPA’s program Remembering When—the program used by the Kingsport Fire Department—at this link.
If you have questions, please direct them to the Neighborhood Commission.