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California -- distance from fire access road -- How to measure

Discussion in 'Residential Fire Codes' started by duranduran, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. duranduran

    duranduran Registered User

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    Hi
    I want to understand how distance to the farthest structure from a fire access road is measured for code purpose. For a residential addition, new sprinklers may or may not be needed based on this.

    The home after remodel is less than 3600 sq feet. It is a remodel. The 'existing' structure which is not being remodeled is the farthest from the street, on a corner. Should that be taken into consideration? Are decks part of the 'structure' too for fire access distance?

    So for a rectangular plot, is it safe to say the width of the plot (minus the side offset) plus longest length of the building plus distance from the center of the farthest portion of the building towards the street to the middle of the street is what the distance should be? Is there any guidance on how this measurement be made?
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome

    It would help if you can copy and paste the exact code wording.

    Normal for fire lane/access road is measured from the city/ public street

    As the hose lays/ fire truck drives

    To within where the fire truck parks and the last 150 feet as the hose stretches to reach all parts/ farthest parts of the building.

    My trouble is the variables you have

    Multiple buildings

    Remodel of only one

    And fire sprinkler requirements.
     
  3. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Not sure if your code has this


    R313.2 One- and two-family dwellings automatic fire systems

    An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall be installed in one- and two-family dwellings.


    Exceptions:
    1. An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be required for additions or alterations to existing buildings that are not already provided with an automatic residential sprinkler system.
     
  4. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    503.1 Where required

    Fire apparatus access roads shall be provided and maintained in accordance with Sections 503.1.1 through 503.1.3.

    503.1.1 Buildings and facilities


    Approved fire apparatus access roads shall be provided for every facility, building or portion of a building hereafter constructed or moved into or within the jurisdiction. The fire apparatus access road shall comply with the requirements of this section and shall extend to within 150 feet (45 720 mm) of all portions of the facility and all portions of the exterior walls of the first story of the building as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the building or facility.



    Exceptions:

    1. The fire code official is authorized to increase the dimension of 150 feet (45 720 mm) where any of the following conditions occur:

      1. 1.1. The building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, 903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3.
    2. 1.2. Fire apparatus access roads cannot be installed because of location on property, topography, waterways, nonnegotiable grades or other similar conditions, and an approved alternative means of fire protection is provided.
    3. 1.3. There are not more than two Group R-3 or Group U occupancies.
     
  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    If you can post the code requirements or confirm some or all the above are it.

    Looks like you meet some exceptions
     
  6. duranduran

    duranduran Registered User

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    Here's the context. It is a single family remodel with an addition of sq footage. It is still single family residential after the remodel. We do not need sprinklers because we are not over 3600 sq ft;
    https://library.municode.com/ca/saratoga/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=CH16BURE_ART16-15BUCO_16-15.060AUSPSY

    However, the FD says sprinklers will be needed if the farthest structure from the access road is over 200'.

    "Fire Apparatus Access Roads Required for Buildings and Facilities: Approved fire apparatus access roads shall be provided for every facility, building or portion of a building hereafter constructed or moved into or with the jurisdiction. The fire apparatus access road shall comply with the requirements of this section and shall extend to within 200 feet (as amended by SCCFD) of all portions of the facility and all portions of the exterior walls of the first story of the building as measured by an approved route around the exterior of the building or facility. [CFC, Section 503.1.1]"

    This is a normal tract home with a 60' wide street and the lot itself is 149' deep! The structure is well within 200' from the center of the street The farthest corner is about 91' from the street -- if you draw a straight line from the center of the street through the 8' side yard to the back corner. If you loop many times to bring in a fire hose you can come close to 200' (If you lay the hose as a C to get to the corner instead of going straight) but that should not be what plan checkers doing. There must be a standard definition to measure this distance and that is what I am looking for.

    Thanks!
     
  7. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    I am ex calif person so don’t know anything about cailf codes,,,

    But

    What you posted is out of the Building Code

    Does your city have a “Residential Code”?
     
  8. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Sometimes if there is a question, the submitter submits a site plan, showing scaled distances.

    Once again it is as the fire truck drives, plus normally the last 150 is stretching the hose, on the exterior of the building.
     
  9. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Not sure where the disconnect, between what you are doing, and the plan review comments????

    How many sq ft are you adding??
     
  10. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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  11. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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  12. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Whatever we do not have complete information
     
  13. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Best answer: initial question should include a site plan to minimize guessing.
     
  14. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Plus I thought calif code was same statewide???
     
  15. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Local Code Amendment Authority and Requirements
    Local governments (and Authorities) may amend the building standards contained in Title 24 of the CCR as provided in state law. The state laws regarding local amendments are specific to the types of buildings and building features, and establish requirements and restrictions for amendments. In order to determine the requirements applicable to a planned local amendment, the local agency or fire protection district must determine which state law applies. Listed separately below are the requirements under each of the state laws that authorize local amendments.
    1. Local Amendments under the California Building Standards Law
    a. Amendment authority: HSC Section 18941.5, with reference to HSC Section 17958.7, allows for more restrictive local amendments that are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological, or topographical conditions. CCR, Title 24, Part 11, California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen), Section 101.7.1, provides that local climatic, geological, or topographical conditions include environmental conditions established by the city, county, or city and county.
    References: HSC 18941.5, 17958.5, and 17958.7 and CBC 1.1.8 and
    1.8.6
    b.
    Amendment application: Amendments to Title 24 made under the authority of HSC 18941.5 may apply to any building, or building feature, that is not otherwise subject to another state law. For example, amendments for residential buildings, historic buildings, and energy conservation are among the subjects of other state laws and may not be subject to an amendment made under the authority of HSC 18941.5.
    c.
    Document requirements: Amendment documents must be expressly marked to clearly identify or demonstrate the following:

    The state law providing the authority for the amendment.

    The Title 24 section being amended. The amendment text should be discernable from the text of Title 24 not being amended.

    Amendments must be more restrictive building standards, including green building standards, than those provided in Title 24.

    The amendment documentation must clearly show that the local governing body made an express finding that amendment to the building standards in Title 24, including green building standards, are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological, or topographical conditions.
     
  16. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Because there is no effective mechanism to push back on abuses many local jurisdictions have adopted amendments that do not satisfy these conditions.

    Many jurisdictions in California adopt modifications that are not driven by local conditions. They seem to think that because they have a climate they can ignore the word local.

    Many of the findings are B.S. The law requires that the findings be based on substantial evidence but the findings with very rare exceptions consist of a single sentence.
     
  17. duranduran

    duranduran Registered User

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    About 800 sq ft. Total sq footage is still less than 3600.
     
  18. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Something is missing.

    Have you had a sit down meeting with the reviewer and have him show you Code section for code section,

    How he is arriving at the requirement??
     

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