Standards for FD access and water supply
I see many folks come to the firehouse forums to throw around ideas regarding sprinkler systems, fire flow, rural water supply, and other concerns of fire departments. With the information that the forum has provided for me, I thought I'd return something back that I hope you all find helpful.
There are two players in town that help fire departments; the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council (ICC). A vast majority of jurisdictions use either NFPA 1 or ICC's International Fire Code as their fire prevention requirements. In both documents, it requires that new buildings comply with specific requirements for fire apparatus access roads and fire department water supply. If you ever have been trying to find out "what size road should be installed", "how many hydrants should be installed", "can I require fireflow" or "can we get a closer road for the aerial to reach the roof", both documents have the pieces of the puzzle. I think the IFC gives a little better direction (Chapter 5), and if you can, push for the adoption of Appendix B (additional fire flow requirements, including rural areas) and Appendix D (minimum weight bearing requirements and aerial apparatus access). Both documents are available at the respective websites or several jurisdictional website.
Rural Water Supply- See many questions about hose relays and tanker operations. For some numbers to compare your operation to, check out NFPA 1142. Gives tools on determining fire flow for rural areas, design of dry hydrants, cisterns, tanks, as well as calculations for LDH hose relays and tanker shuttles.
Sprinkler systems- I see questions on sprinkler system fire department connections, like the one on 'dwelling sprinkler' systems. NFPA 13E has been added to the sprinkler series of NFPA documents as a guide for FD operations with sprinkler systems.
Other stuff- There are other guides out there for different building systems and FD operations; such as ASME A17.4 for FD operations on elevators and a bunch of stuff on green building features.
I hope this information is helpful. Clearly, you can use it as a basis to help determine what is best for your FD even if the buildings aren't new.