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The University of Tennessee is helping make Tennessee School for the Deaf safer for its students.

Recommendations from a UT-Knoxville study that looked at ways to improve fire safety, evacuation routes, and emergency warnings at the school are being implemented, Dr. Susan Smith, study director, said.

Additional safety management personnel, visual alarms and escape routes are in place at TSD, Smith, assistant professor of safety science in the college of education, said.

”TSD already met required safety codes. Working with us to assess facilities will help them reach a new standard for safety,” she said.

”It also helps us to learn more about emergency response and inspection for buildings serving special populations.”

Dr. Alan Mealka, TSD superintendent, said more costly proposals such as building and electrical renovations have been forwarded to the State Department of Education for funding consideration.

”TSD has a long running relationship with UT in many areas, and we are particularly thankful for this project,” Mealka said. ”The information, technical assistance and guidance they have provided have been of great benefit to the school and ultimately could save lives.”

Dr. Tyler Kress, UT industrial engineering professor, Martha Keel, associate professor of housing and environment programs for UT’s Agricultural Extension Service, and 15 graduate students also worked on the project.

The project won a New Horizon Research Award from the National Safety Council.