1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Jan 1999

    Default 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.
    Last edited by Rotoray; 08-31-2009 at 11:36 PM. Reason: more stuff
    "The light that goes around, even up-side down".

  2. #2
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    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003



    This is all assuming that:

    1. The jurisdiction has properly adopted the ICC Code Series (or any other code sources.)

    2. That the jurisdiction or municipality that they lie within have not bastardized the ICC Codes (example, Pennsylvania's Act 45 which amends many of the IBC and IRC requirements....right now the sprinkler requirements for the 2009 codes are trying to be stomped out by various lobbyists....)

    3. That the folks who are in charge of Land Development know what they are doing and allow the AHJ's Fire Code Official to review plans and propose necessary changes.

    4. That the folks who are in charge of Land Development mandate that the Developer correct the plans according to the Fire Code Official's requirements.

    5. That the Fire Code Official knows what the hell he is doing!

    6. That the Fire Code Official cooperates with the Plans Examiner/Building Inspector!

    7. That the Fire Code Official cooperates with the local fire chief!

    Overall your post is well written, but in many jurisdictions such as Pennsylvania, it's not just as easy as looking at the IFC and telling developers "do this."
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 1999



    Agree with everything you said. Even if you don't have the enforcement side of the house behind the FD or you don't use an up-to-date model code (ICC or NFPA), there are some tools in there for good reference. As an example, we use NFPA 1142 when doing preplans to determine whether we have enough water on the road to shuttle or if we need more tankers on a upgraded assignment/working fire. Also use it when we put in dry hydrants to hunt out good sites.
    "The light that goes around, even up-side down".

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