Chapter 24.24
FIRE DEPARTMENT ACCESS

Sections:

24.24.010    Background.

24.24.020    Administrative interpretation – Defined terms.

24.24.030    Access guidelines.

24.24.040    Aerial apparatus roadway width.

24.24.050    Maintenance of access roads.

24.24.060    Divided entryway.

24.24.070    No parking signage.

24.24.080    Design standards.

24.24.090    Other fire department turnarounds and clearances.

24.24.100    Looped lane standards.

24.24.110    Shared driveway standards.

24.24.010 Background.

The Fire Department is required to respond to a multitude of emergencies in various types of buildings and occupancies. These include single-family dwellings, apartment buildings, shopping malls, business complexes, industrial complexes, hospitals, and nursing homes. To provide effective fire fighting operations, the Fire Department must be able to reach all structures by way of approved access roadways, streets, or driveways.

This directive shall assist developers and designers in meeting the requirements for Fire Department access, by defining terms and listing minimum design standards considered necessary for effective fire fighting operations.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.020 Administrative interpretation – Defined terms.

Fire Department access means an approved route that is always available for use by fire trucks and is designed to meet fire equipment load requirements. Except for loop lanes, shared driveways, and private driveways, all access routes must be at least 20 feet wide. When a dead-end access route exceeds 150 feet in length, an approved turnaround area must be provided.

Public street access means a Fire Department access route on a public right-of-way. Public street access routes must comply with the City or County road design standards and also must comply with the Uniform Fire Code.

Private street access means a Fire Department access route on private land. Private street access routes must comply with the Uniform Fire Code.

Grades. Street grades shall comply with City or County design standards for both public and private street access routes. Maximum grade shall not exceed eight percent.

Grades on turnaround areas. Maximum grades on turnaround areas shall not exceed four percent.

Height. All Fire Department access routes shall have at least 13 feet, six inches of vertical clearance for the entire required width.

Looped lane means a Fire Department access route in a public right-of-way, consisting of a looped road that must be at least 16 feet wide. Looped lanes may be approved for residential subdivisions and must be designed to approved standards (see design pages).

Private driveway means a driveway designed for the use of occupants of no more than two single-family dwelling units or one two-family dwelling unit. If the dwelling units are located more than 100 feet from an approved Fire Department access route, the private driveway must meet our minimum design standards, which are: access routes must be at least 12 feet wide; grades do not exceed City/County grade requirements; adequate turnarounds provided if over 150 feet long; width to be increased if sharp curves are included; constructed with an all-weather surface and able to support the weight of a fire truck.

Shared driveway means a Fire Department access route on private property, serving three or more single-family units. A shared driveway must be at least 16 feet wide and be designed to approved standards (see design pages).

Residential cul-de-sac, commercial/industrial cul-de-sac means an approved turnaround area for public rights-of-way or private property, designed to Fire Department standards (see design pages).

Tee turnaround, alternative turnarounds means an approved turnaround area for private property designed to Fire Department standards (see design pages).

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.030 Access guidelines.

The following guidelines represent the Fire Department’s efforts to maintain consistency concerning Fire Department emergency access. It is the Department’s responsibility to ensure adequate access for Fire Department emergency responders. The City therefore reserves the right to require modifications to established requirements if, in its opinion, the access cannot be provided or may be compromised.

(a)    Type of Surface. All access roadways shall be finished by application of an all-weather driving surface of hot mix asphaltic concrete or concrete pavement over a flexible base capable of supporting a design wheel load of 18,000 pounds (GVW 80,000 pounds minimum; H-20 loading). The roadway design must be prepared and certified by an engineer registered by the State of Colorado. Any required Fire Department access within 100 feet of any building must meet the same wheel-loading criteria. All required access roadways must be properly maintained and kept clear for emergency use at all times.

    Any alternatives to these specifications must be reviewed and approved by the Grand Junction Fire Department prior to construction.

(b)    Two Points of Access. Providing two points of fire apparatus access has the following benefits:

(1)    If one access route is blocked, emergency responders have a second route to the property.

(2)    If an emergency requires evacuation of an area, the public will have an alternative exit route should one route be blocked by the emergency incident.

    When two points of access are required, they shall be placed a distance apart equal to not less than one-half of the length of the maximum overall diagonal dimension of the property or area to be served, measured in a straight line between accesses. The Grand Junction Fire Department does not allow the second access point limited to use by emergency responders only. The second access must always be available for public use in case the other access is blocked.

(c)    Commercial and Industrial Developments.

(1)    Buildings or facilities exceeding 30 feet or three stories in height shall have at least two means of fire apparatus access.

(2)    Buildings or facilities having a gross building area of more than 62,000 square feet shall have at least two means of fire apparatus access. If the buildings or facilities are provided with an approved automatic fire sprinkler system, the gross building area can be increased to 124,000 square feet with one access road.

(d)    Multifamily Residential Developments.

(1)    Multifamily residential projects having more than 100 dwelling units shall be provided with at least two means of fire apparatus access.

(2)    Multifamily residential projects of up to 200 dwelling units, which are provided with an approved fire sprinkler system, may have one means of fire apparatus access.

(e)    One- or Two-Family Residential Developments.

(1)    Developments where the number of dwelling units exceeds 30 shall be provided with separate and approved fire apparatus access roads.

(2)    Developments where the number of dwelling units is 60 or less may be served by a single fire apparatus access road, provided all dwelling units are provided with approved residential fire sprinkler systems.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.040 Aerial apparatus roadway width.

Fire apparatus access roadways shall have a minimum unobstructed width of 26 feet in the immediate vicinity of any building or portion of building more than 30 feet in height. At least one of the required access routes meeting this condition shall be located within a minimum of 15 feet and a maximum of 30 feet from the building, and shall be positioned parallel to one entire side of the building.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.050 Maintenance of access roads.

Maintenance of the required access shall be considered during the planning stages and installation of Fire Department access roadways, fire hydrants, or connections. This includes the potential growth of trees and/or other vegetation over the years.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.060 Divided entryway.

A divided entryway can present a challenge to emergency vehicles. The required width of the driveable surface in a divided entryway is based on the width of the entryway and that of the street fronting it.

(a)    If the street fronting the divided entryway is 28 feet wide, each lane of the entryway must be at least 15 feet wide.

(b)    If the street fronting the divided entryway is 34 feet wide, the entryway lanes may be less than 15 feet wide, but cannot be less than 12 feet wide.

(c)    For fronting streets wider than 34 feet, entryway lanes must be at least 12 feet wide.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.070 No parking signage.

For access routes less than 28 feet wide and for fire apparatus turnaround areas, vehicle parking is not allowed. “No Parking” signs are required. An approved design for the signage is shown in the Transportation Engineering Design Standards (TEDS), available from the City of Grand Junction Department of Public Works.

(a)    For access routes 16 to 22 feet wide, “No Parking” signs are required along both sides of the route.

(b)    For access routes 22 to 28 feet wide, “No Parking” signs are required along one side of the route.

(c)    For hammerhead tees and alternative turnarounds, “No Parking” signs are required along both sides of the area.

(d)    For cul-de-sacs, “No Parking” signs should be placed along the outside of the turnaround area.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.080 Design standards.

The following pages give examples of Grand Junction Fire Department approved roadway, turnaround, and turning radius specifications. The last of these pages may be photocopied onto a transparency as a template for Fire Department turn radius requirements. This is the template used by the Fire Prevention Bureau when reviewing plans to determine proper access and is based on the actual size of the Grand Junction Fire Department fire fighting apparatus.

Hammerhead Tee Turnaround

Alternative Tee Turnaround

Alternative Turnaround

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.090 Other fire department turnarounds and clearances.

(a)    Turnouts for Fire Hydrants. For emergency access routes less than 22 feet wide, where fire hydrants are required along the route, a turnout area for fire trucks is required. The width of the access road must be at least 20 feet in the area of the turnout. This turnout area is required so that when a fire truck utilizes the fire hydrant in an emergency, the access route will still be available for use by other emergency vehicles.

(b)    Intermediate Turnaround Areas. In cases where a single point of access exceeds 600 feet in length, intermediate turnaround areas are required. The width of the access road must be at least 28 feet in the area of the turnaround. These areas allow emergency vehicles to turn around without having to drive to the end of a long dead-end road. The intermediate turnarounds must be provided at a maximum interval of every 500 feet.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.100 Looped lane standards.

(a)    Not more than seven single-family residences obtain access from the fire loop lane;

(b)    The 16-foot-wide fire loop lane shall consist of an all-weather clear surface;

(c)    No curve on any portion of the flow line of the fire loop lane shall have an inside radius of less than 33 feet and an outside radius of less than 48 feet. “Flow line” means the area between the curbs or equivalent if curbs are not present.

(d)    No portion of the fire loop lane shall extend more than 250 feet from the abutting street right-of-way.

(e)    A minimum of four parking spaces shall be constructed at the end of the fire loop lane, as indicated on the diagram.

(f)    The fire loop lane and parking stalls, as indicated on the diagram, are dedicated to and maintained by the City;

(g)    Two-way traffic is allowed;

(h)    “No parking” signs and markings, as required by the City, are installed and maintained so that no parking is allowed between the curbs on any traveled portion of the fire loop lane;

(i)    Corner lots that front the fire loop lane and the abutting street shall be required to only obtain access from the fire loop lane;

(j)    No garage or carport built on a lot obtaining access from the fire loop lane shall be constructed any portion of which is closer than 30 feet from any portion of the fire loop lane;

(k)    Each residence obtaining access from the fire loop lane shall provide and maintain four parking spaces between the garage or carport and the fire loop lane; and

(l)    The fire loop lane shall only connect to a street where on-street parking exists now and is expected to remain, according to the City Engineer, based on such factors as the City capital program and any adopted street plans.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)

24.24.110 Shared driveway standards.

(a)    A shared driveway shall be owned and maintained by the owners of the parcels or lots which abut the shared driveway;

(b)    Not more than four single-family lots shall abut or touch any portion of the shared driveway and no more than four single-family units may access a shared driveway;

(c)    A shared driveway shall be least 16 feet wide and not longer than 150 feet;

(d)    No parking is allowed on the shared driveway;

(e)    Each lot abutting a shared driveway must provide four on-site parking spaces;

(f)    Each lot abutting a shared driveway must access off the shared driveway unless varied at time of subdivision approval; and

(g)    A shared driveway may be used only where it intersects a street where on-street parking exists and is expected to remain, according to the City Engineer, based on such factors as the City capital program and any adopted street plans.

(Res. 39-04, 4-21-04)