requirements by fire department are killing me- help

5 Replies

I am developing a duplex off of a narrow street. The duplex will be set back about 150' from the street and is serviced by a 20' wide alley. The fire chief is requiring me to put in sprinklers in my duplex because he says his fire truck can't make the turn into the alley/fire lane. But he also says he needs room for his truck to turn around and he wants us to install a fire hydrant for the truck to hookup to. Why should I need add a hydrant if he says the truck can't make it in the alley? Why do I need both a fire hydrant and sprinklers in the duplex. What recourse do I have if I want to appeal his decision? I'm prepared to discuss with his boss and the City Supervisor. Can I sue him for being over burdensome on his requirements?

Have you asked the fire chief your questions?  His priority is to protect lives and property, and has seen a lot of stuff we haven't.  

You are a developer and are required to meet standards, even if they seem unreasonable.  Get pricing on sprinklers and fire hydrant.  That may not cost as much as you think.  Especially sprinklers, which will be a selling point, too. 

You may be able to get a variance, but take the position of cooperation and alignment as much as you can.  

Sprinklers will ALWAYS lower your insurance too.

Out here in the West the fire marshal has a lot of discretionary power..

The main reason if there is a requirement for units to be sprinkled is because of GPH flow at the nearest hydrant is not adequate . Even if you have a hydrant put in next to your property if it does not meet their standards you will have to sprinkle.

When we build subdivisions we must prove 1500 GPM fire flow  this is pretty much UBC standards.. one development I did I had to bring a 10 inch main almost a mile across town to tie into our system to create the fire flow other wise we could not build the sub.. Even with sprinklers.  I am building out one development now were all houses have to be sprinkled because of lack of flow to the hydrants, runs about 2500 to 3000 per house. and these are 2k to 2.5k sq foot homes.. so a duplex is probably right at 3 to 4k for the whole job.  Not the end of the world.. Hydrants and running a 4 or 6 inch line that will cost you some money.  And they usually don't like dead ends ,,, But as others have stated go to the fire marshal and try to see where they are coming from.

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The issue is that the fire marshal wants me to put in sprinklers AND a fire hydrant. The hydrant will cost me about 10K and an estimate of the sprinklers will cost me $9 sq ft which is another $27K (proposed 3000 sq ft duplex) so together with the fire hydrant this is 10% of my project cost (not including the price of the land).

Originally posted by @John Chapman :

The issue is that the fire marshal wants me to put in sprinklers AND a fire hydrant. The hydrant will cost me about 10K and an estimate of the sprinklers will cost me $9 sq ft which is another $27K (proposed 3000 sq ft duplex) so together with the fire hydrant this is 10% of my project cost (not including the price of the land).

 Get some more estimates. $9 PSF for sprinklers sounds high.