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Community and Q&A

Understanding Code: Access for Fire Department Equipment

olandsns | Posted in Building Code Questions on

So I am converting our garage into a suite and have one outstanding issue I can’t get clarified by permits. I provided a response on the last submission and they are still requiring I address this..

Feedback is: Designer to consider firefighting access.

Permits won’t specify, just directed me to the firehall who won’t get back to me.

Code just says:

1) Access for fire department equipment shall be provided to each building by means of a street, private roadway or yard.

Right now there’s a 3m driveway clear to the garage.

Anyone expand on how this type of requirement is usually interpreted.

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  1. Expert Member


    Up here the requirements are at the discretion of the local fire department. Some jurisdictions use accepted national standards, some tailor them to their unique circumstances. On larger multi-family projects I have met with the fire chief to discuss what they would accept, but usually on small residential ones like yours they have simple generic requirements they can p0int you to.

  2. plumb_bob | | #2

    A building department that will not clarify what is requested is not doing anybody any favors...

    Not sure where you are, but where I live (Northern BC) access routes for firefighting equipment require a clear width of 6m, plus several other design features including overhead clearance, turn radius minimums, maximum length of dead ends etc.

    So your 3m driveway may be the problem.

  3. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #3

    Your best option is to go meet with your local fire marshall. Usually these guys are excited to talk to about things like this, they tend to take their jobs pretty seriously and they want to help you. If they don't call you back, go visit them in person -- it's much harder to ignore someone that shows up in person.


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