Building Construction Resources

Fire Department Access Requirements and Information


Fire Department Access Road Specifications

  • Unobstructed width of 20 feet with minimum vertical clearance of 13.5 feet 
  • Provided with an all-weather driving surface a minimum of 16 feet in width
  • Designed and engineered to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus
    1. Unless otherwise approved by the Fire Marshal, an all-weather surface shall mean well maintained and paved or otherwise hard-surfaced with asphaltic or Portland cement concrete
  • Shall have adequate turning radius to allow maneuvering of fire apparatus:
    1. 27-foot inside turning radius
    2. 46-foot outside turning radius
  • Gradient for a fire apparatus access road shall not exceed 15%
    1. Exceptions:
      • Access roads leading to buildings fully protected by automatic sprinkler systems may exceed 15% grade;
      • Where there are not more than two Group R, Division 3, or Group U occupancies, this requirement may be modified
  • Access roads shall extend to within 150 feet of all portions of the facility and all portions of the exterior walls of the first story as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the building or facility
    1. Exceptions:
      • The dimension of 150 feet may be increased where any of the following conditions occur:
        • Building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system
        • There are not more than two Group R-3 or Group U occupancies

Gates and Barricades

  • The installation of gates and barricades across fire apparatus access roads must be approved by the Fire Marshal via permit.
  • Gates shall have an approved means of emergency operation.
    1. Manual gates shall be equipped with a lock keyed to accept the keys carried by responding fire apparatus (see page for ordering locks)
    2. Electric gate operators shall be listed in accordance with UL 325 and equipped with a key switch that can be operated by responding fire apparatus (see page for ordering key switch)
    3. Electric gate operators shall be set up such that, when opened by the fire department key, the gate remains in the ‘open’ position until such time the key is turned to its ‘normal’ position
    4. Gates intended for automatic operation shall be designed, constructed, and installed to comply with the requirements of ASTM F2200

Dead Ends

  • Dead-end fire apparatus access roads in excess of 150 feet in length shall be provided with a turnaround
  • Cul-De-Sacs – Permanent dead-end streets shall terminate with a turning circle.  The turning circle may include a landscaped island or stormwater bioretention facility, as approved by the Fire Marshal and City Engineer.  
  • The maximum length from center of the turning circle or hammerhead (“T”) to center of intersection shall be 500 feet.
  • The City Engineer and Fire Marshal may allow an alternative turnaround providing comparable ease of turning.
  • The turning radius of access roadway turnarounds shall be not less than 40 feet (80 feet in diameter)
    1. Exception:
      • Alternate methods of creating access roadway turnarounds may be approved by the Fire Marshal.  Approved turnarounds may include such designs as a hammerhead arrangement, a graveled circle 80 feet in diameter, or an intersecting road

 

Alternative Access Requirement 

  • Where a proposed development results in 30 or more dwelling units, such development shall include a minimum of two (2) ingress / egress points to ensure adequate emergency access; provided that they City Engineer and Fire Marshal retain the authority to grant variances from this requirement and add conditions to any variance granted.

 

Authority to Require Modifications / Additional Access

  • The Fire Marshal shall have the authority to require or permit modifications to the required access widths where they are inadequate for fire or rescue operations or where necessary to meet the public safety objectives of the City of Longview

Fire Apparatus Specifications

Engine 81

Engine

Length           32 Feet bumper to bumper (384 inches)

Wheelbase    16.4-Feet (197-inches)

Height            9 Feet 6 inches (114 inches)

Width              8 Feet (not including mirrors)

Weight           45,180 Pounds (22.6 tons)


Ladder 81 

Ladder

Length           41 Feet 2 inches bumper to bumper (494 inches)

Wheelbase    20.75 Feet (249-inches)

Height            12 Feet 2 inches tall (146 inches)

Width              8 Feet (not including mirrors)

Weight           68,000 Pounds (34 tons)

Apparatus from other entities may also respond to incidents within the City of Longview which may be heavier or have different specifications.  Those include:

Aerial Apparatus

Aerial Apparatus (3 axles):  Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue (heaviest in our local system)

Weights:

            Gross              69,980 Pounds (35 tons)

            Front Axle      20,180 Pounds (10.1 tons)

            Rear Set        49,800 Pounds (25 tons)

            Wheelbase    Front axle to forward dual axle 18.6 feet (224 inches)

                                    Front axle to rear dual axle 23 feet (276 inches)

 NOTE:           For our most restrictive turning radii, see Fire Department Access Requirements and Information sheet.

Plan Submittal Standards for Gates Across Required Fire Department Access Roadways


The Longview Fire Department reviews plans and details of proposed fire lane gates for compliance with current fire code requirements and development standards.  The following is a list of items checked during our review:

 Temporary Access Restrictions During Construction

  • Temporary gates on required fire lane access roadways may be provided with a chain and lock.        The chain link will be severed in the event of needed used by the fire department.

Permanent Gates Restricting Access

  • Plans and specifications of gate assembly and location shall be submitted for review, approval, and inspection by Longview Fire prior to construction.  In the event that a conflict exists in access requirements from any department in the city, the more restrictive requirement shall prevail.  Approval of a gate plan by the fire department does not guarantee approval by other city departments.
  • Clear, unobstructed minimum access width of gates shall be 20 feet on a single gated roadway when fully opened; or 15 feet on each side of a divided entry gated roadway when fully opened.  
  • Automatic gates shall be designed to remain fully open once activated by the fire department key switch until closed by the fire department (unless the gate is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year).
  • Swinging gates shall swing in the direction of travel and shall not interfere with minimum emergency vehicle turning radius.
  • Permanent automatic unattended gates on required fire access roadways shall be provided with a Knox-brand key switch compatible with the keys carried in fire department vehicles.  See ‘Ordering Locks and Key Switches’ for instructions on ordering.
  • Electric gate operators, where provided, shall be listed in accordance with UL 325.        Gates intended for automatic operation shall be designed, constructed, and installed to comply with the requirements of ASTM F2200 per IFC Section 503.5.
  • Any failures of required gate switches shall result in the requirement that the gate remain in the open position until repairs are completed.
  • Electrically operated gates shall be manually operable in the event of power failure unless supplied with backup emergency power.
  • Manually operated gates that are locked must be equipped with a Knox-brand lock keyed to be compatible with the keys carried in fire department vehicles.        See ‘Ordering Locks and Key Switches’ for instruction on ordering.
  • Final approval of the gate in contingent on fire department testing and acceptance.