|Garriss believes that by working together and utilizing the “3E” principal of engineering, education and enforce, code officials have the best chance of regulating building construction that may constitute a special hazard to property or to the life and safety of the building occupants.|
As the Chief of the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office, Dwayne Garriss, Georgia’s State Fire Marshal, coordinates activates of the various industries regulated by the Safety Fire Commissioner throughout the State. With an educational background in architecture from the University of Tennessee, Dwayne started his career as a Mechanical Engineer Project Manager with William E. Owen and Associates and then obtained a position with Chegwidden Dorsey Holmes Architects. In 1988, he relocated to the Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner as a Fire Safety Engineer. Since 1993, until he was appointed as the State Fire Marshal in 2011, he served in the position of Assistant State Fire Marshal overseeing the Engineering and Inspection Division and the licensing of fire suppression contractors, inspectors and special hazard system technicians. Garriss has served as the Safety Fire Commissioner’s designee on the State Codes Advisory Committee for the Department of Community Affairs since the mid-1990s.
Garriss believes that by working together and utilizing the “3E” principal of engineering, education and enforce, code officials have the best chance of regulating building construction that may constitute a special hazard to property or to the life and safety of the building occupants, and providing a safer built environment for the Citizens of Georgia and its visitors. He has strived to build working relationships between the fire and building officials of Georgia. This evolved into a joint code officials taskforce in 1995, where fire and building code officials began to resolve the conflicting languages of the Southern Standard Codes and the NFPA Codes and Standards, which are often the basis for further code revisions today.
Garriss is the Immediate Past President of the International Code Council (ICC) Board of Directors, after the election of Jay Elbettar as president at the 2017 ICC Annual Conference. Garriss was first elected to the board as a Sectional Director for a region that includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and the Caribbean during the Council’s 2010 Annual Conference, and was elected Secretary/Treasurer at the 2014 ICC Annual Conference. Garriss believes in both passive and active balanced fire protection for the protection of life and property.
Garriss has been an active member of the ICC’s Fire Code Council, including serving as Chair. He has also served on two exam development committees and on the Governance Review Committee for the Code Council. Other areas of involvement with the ICC include service on the Joint Fire Service Review Committee as an ICC appointee, the Codes Correlating Committee and the Steering Committee.
In addition, Garriss has been a construction codes instructor for the University of Georgia through Clayton State College and University and Gainesville State College. Currently he is an adjunct instructor for the Georgia Fire Academy and has also served as an instructor for portions of the fire science program at Perimeter College.
His achievements include being an Eagle Scout, becoming SBCCI certified as a Fire Inspector I, an ICC certified Fire Inspector I, NPQ certified Fire Inspector I, NFPA Fire Inspector I, NFPA Certified Fire Plans Examiner, Georgia Certified Fire Inspector, Georgia Certified Fire and Life Safety Educator, ICC certified Pre-Engineered Kitchen Fire Extinguishing Technician and as a Pre-Engineered Industrial Fire Extinguishing Technician.
Garriss has served as President of the Georgia Fire Inspectors Association. He has been recognized as Fire Official of the Year by the Georgia Fire Sprinkler Association and Fire Safety Professional of the Year in 1998 by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Georgia Chapter. He was awarded the Fire and Life Safety Award from the American Fire Sprinkler Association and the H.D Crossnine Award by the Southeastern Fire Chiefs Association.