Chapter 15.24


15.24.010    Adoption of California Fire Code.

15.24.020    Administration.

15.24.025    Appeals.

15.24.030    Definitions.

15.24.040    General precautions against fire.

15.24.050    Fire service features.

15.24.060    Building services and systems.

15.24.070    Fire sprinkler systems.

15.24.090    Flammable finishes.

15.24.100    Fire safety during construction.

15.24.110    Wildland-urban interface fire area.

15.24.120    Fireworks display.

15.24.130    Flammable and combustible liquids.

15.24.140    Liquefied petroleum gases.

15.24.170    Chapter 80 Referenced Standards.

15.24.180    Appendix B, fire-flow requirements for buildings.

15.24.190    Conflict.

15.24.010 Adoption of California Fire Code.

The City of Poway adopts by reference the 2016 California Fire Code, excluding Section 103, and including Appendix Chapter 4 and Appendices B, F and I, as published by the International Code Council, except those portions that are deleted, modified, or amended by this chapter. One copy of the above-mentioned code has been and is now filed in the office of the City Clerk or the Fire Code Official, City of Poway, and the same is adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein. From the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, the provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the City of Poway. (Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.020 Administration.

Section 102.13 is added to read:

102.13 Repeal of Conflicting Ordinances, Resolutions or Motions. All former ordinances, resolutions, motions, or parts thereof that are conflicting or inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance or of the Code or standards hereby adopted are repealed.

Section 104.12 is added to read:

104.12 Cost Recovery. The purpose of this section is to establish authority to obtain reimbursement from responsible individuals for the expenses of any emergency response and/or enforcement action by the City of Poway to protect the public from criminal or negligent activities, and from fire or hazardous substances.

Section 104.12.1 is added to read:

104.12.1 Reimbursement. In accordance with Health and Safety Code Section 13000 et seq., an individual who acts negligently or in violation of the law and thereby requires the jurisdiction to provide an emergency response to a danger posed by a fire or hazardous substance shall be liable for reimbursement to the agency for the costs incurred. In accordance with Government Code Sections 53150 through 53158, any individual who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, and whose negligent operation of a motor vehicle, boat or vessel, or civil aircraft caused by that influence, proximately causes any incident and thereby requires the agency to provide an emergency response, shall reimburse the agency for the cost incurred.

Section 105.3.9 is added to read:

105.3.9 Expense Recovery. The fire code official may impose a fee for recovery of expenses incurred to enforce the fire prevention provisions of this code. Such expense recovery fees shall be established by a resolution of the City Council.

Section is added to read: Christmas Tree Lots. An operational permit is required to operate a Christmas tree lot with or without flameproofing services.

Section is added to read: Green Waste Recycling, Mulching, Composting Operations and Storage. An operational permit is required for green waste recycling, mulching, composting operations and storage.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.025 Appeals.

Section 108 is modified to read:

108.1 Appeals Procedure Established. Whenever the fire code official has denied a permit or other entitlement, or when it is alleged that a mistake has been made in the interpretation or application of the code, the applicant may appeal the decision of the fire code official to the City Manager by filing a written appeal with the City Clerk within 30 days of the decision. If the appeal is denied by the City Manager, the City Manager’s decision may be appealed to the City Council by filing a written appeal with the City Clerk within 30 days of the City Manager’s decision and paying of the appeal fee set forth in the City's Master Fee Schedule for administrative appeals.

Section 109.4 is modified to read:

109.4 Violation Penalties. It is unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this Code or standards hereby adopted by reference as a part of this Code, or to fail to comply with any lawful order issued pursuant to this Code, or to violate any permit or condition of approval issued pursuant to this Code. It is further unlawful for any person to fail to comply with any lawful order issued pursuant to this Code by the City Attorney or by a court of competent jurisdiction. A violation of any provision of this Code, or failure to comply with orders or conditions issued pursuant to this Code, shall constitute a misdemeanor or (in the discretion of the prosecuting attorney) an infraction, in any event as set forth in Chapter 1.08 PMC. In addition to any criminal penalties any violation may also be enforced by civil action, and shall be subject to civil and administrative penalties, as set forth in Chapters 1.08 and 1.10 PMC

Section 111.4 is modified to read:

111.4 Failure to Comply. It is unlawful for any person to continue any work after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work expressly identified in the stop-work order as necessary to correct a violation or unsafe condition.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.030 Definitions.

The following definitions are added to Section 202:

Aerated Static Pile. A composting process that uses an air distribution system to either blow or draw air through the pile. Little or no pile agitation or turning is performed.

Chipping and Grinding. An activity that mechanically reduces the size of organic matter.

Composting Operations. An operation that is conducted for the purpose of producing compost and shall be by means of one or a combination of the following processes used to produce a compost product: static pile, windrow pile, or aerated static pile.

Combustible Vegetation. Material that in its natural state will readily ignite, burn and transmit fire from native or landscape plants to any structure or other vegetation. Combustible vegetation includes dry grass, brush, weeds, litter or other flammable vegetation that creates a fire hazard.

Dead-End Road. A road that has only one point of vehicular ingress/egress, including cul-de-sacs and looped roads.

Defensible Space. An area either natural or man-made, where material capable of allowing a fire to spread unchecked has been treated, cleared or modified to slow the rate and intensity of an advancing wildfire and to create an area for fire suppression operations to occur. Distance measurements for defensible space shall be measured on a horizontal plane.

Fire Department. Any regularly organized fire department regularly charged with the responsibility of providing fire protection to the jurisdiction.

Fire Authority Having Jurisdiction (FAHJ). The designated entity providing enforcement of fire regulations as they relate to planning, construction, and development. This entity for the City of Poway also provides fire suppression and other emergency services.

Fire Hazard. Anything that increases or could cause an increase of the hazard or menace of fire to a greater degree than customarily recognized as normal by persons in the public service regularly engaged in preventing, suppressing, or extinguishing fire; or anything or act, which could obstruct, delay, hinder, or interfere with the operations of the fire department; or egress of occupants in the event of fire.

Fire Protection Plan (FPP). The FPP is a document prepared for a specific project or development proposed in the wildland-urban interface fire area that describes ways to minimize and mitigate potential loss from wildfire exposure, with the purpose of reducing impact on the community’s fire protection delivery system.

Fuel Break. An area, strategically located for fighting anticipated fires, where the native vegetation has been permanently modified or replaced so that fires burning into it can be more easily controlled. Fuel breaks divide fire-prone areas into smaller areas for easier fire control and to provide access for fire fighting.

Fuel Modification Zone. A strip of land where combustible vegetation has been thinned or modified or both and partially or totally replaced with approved fire-resistant and/or irrigated plants to provide an acceptable level of risk from vegetation fires. Fuel modification reduces the radiant and convective heat on a structure and provides valuable defensible space for firefighters to make an effective stand against an approaching fire front.

Green Waste. Organic material that includes, but is not limited to, yard trimmings, plant waste, manure, untreated wood wastes, paper products, and natural fiber products.

Hazardous Fire Area. Any geographic area mapped by the State or designated by a local jurisdiction as a moderate, high or very high fire hazard area or which the FAHJ has determined is a hazardous fire area, because the type and condition of vegetation, topography, weather and structure density increase the probability that the area will be susceptible to a wildfire.

High-Rise Building.

1. “Existing high-rise structure” means a high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced or completed prior to July 1, 1974.

2. “High-rise structure” means every building of any type of construction or occupancy having floors used for human occupancy located more than 55 feet above the lowest floor level having building access (see California Building Code, Section 403.1.2), except buildings used as hospitals as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 1250.

3. “New high-rise structure” means a high-rise structure, the construction of which is commenced on or after July 1, 1974.

Hogged Materials. Mill waste consisting mainly of hogged bark but may include a mixture of bark, chips, dust, or other by-products from trees and vegetation.

Mulching. the process by which mixed green waste is mechanically reduced in size for the purpose of making compost.

Open Space Easement. Any right or interest in perpetuity or for a term for years in open-space land, as that term is defined in Government Code section 51051, acquired by the County, a city or a nonprofit organization where the instrument granting the right or interest imposes restriction on use of the land, to preserve the land for public use or enjoyment of the natural or scenic character of the land.

Open Space Preserve. Open-space land, as that term is defined in Government Code section 65560(b), for the preservation of natural resources, managed production of resources, outdoor recreation, public health and safety, buffer for a military installation or the protection of cultural resources.

Response Time. The elapsed time from the fire department’s receipt of the first alarm to when the first fire unit arrives at the scene.

Slope. The variation of terrain from the horizontal; the number of feet, rise or fall per 100 feet, measured horizontally, expressed as a percentage.

Static Pile. A composting process that is similar to the aerated static pile except that the air source may or may not be controlled.

Structure. That which is built or constructed, an edifice or building of any kind, or any piece of work artificially built up or composed of parts joined together in some manner.

Travel Time. The estimated time it would take for a responding agency to travel from the fire station to the furthest structure in a proposed development project, determined by measuring the safest, most direct, appropriate, and reliable route with consideration given to safe operation speeds for heavy fire apparatus.

Tree Crown. The primary and secondary branches growing out from the main stem, together with twigs and foliage.

Windrow Composting Process. The process in which compostable material is placed in elongated piles. The piles or windrows are aerated and/or mechanically turned on a periodic basis.

Wood Chips. Chips of various species of wood produced or used in chipping and grinding operations.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.040 General precautions against fire.

Section 304.1.4 is added to read:

304.1.4 Outdoor Carnivals and Fairs. Outdoor carnivals and fairs shall only be conducted on grounds free of combustible vegetation or trimmed to the satisfaction of the FAHJ.

Section 305.6 is added to read:

305.6 Rockets, Model Aircraft and Similar Devices. Rockets, model airplanes, gliders, balloons, sky lanterns, floating luminaries or similar devices powered with an engine, propellant, open flame, or other feature liable to start or cause a fire shall not be projected into or across hazardous fire areas without prior approval of the fire code official.

Section 307.5 is modified to read:

307.5 Attendance. Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and the use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended by an adult until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.

Section 320 is added to read:



320.1 General. Firewood shall not be stored in unenclosed space beneath a building or structure, on a deck or under eaves, a canopy or other projection or overhang. When required by the fire code official, firewood or other combustible material stored in the defensible space surrounding a structure shall be located at least 30 feet from any structure and separated from the crown of any trees by a minimum of 15 feet, measured horizontally. Firewood and combustible materials not for use on the premises shall be stored so as to not pose a fire hazard.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.050 Fire service features.

Section 503.1.2 is modified to read:

503.1.2 Additional Access. The fire code official may require one or more secondary means of access to a project, development or area where he or she deems that such access is necessary for emergency operations and/or evacuation. The maximum length of a dead-end road, including all dead end roads accessed from that dead-end road, shall not exceed the following cumulative lengths, regardless of the number of parcels served:

Parcels zoned for less than 1 acre

800 feet

Parcels zoned for 1 acre to 4.99 acres

1,320 feet

Parcels zoned for 5 acres to 19.99 acres

2,640 feet

Parcels zoned for 20 acres or larger

5,280 feet

These requirements may be modified when, in the opinion of the fire code official, conditions warrant. All lengths shall be measured from the edge of the roadway surface at the intersection where the road begins to the end of the road surface at its farthest point. Where a dead-end road crosses areas of differing zoned parcel sizes that require different length limits, the shortest allowable length shall apply. Secondary access must be remote from the primary access and must meet all provisions of this section.

Section 503.2.1 is modified to read:

503.2.1 Dimensions. Fire apparatus access roads shall have an unobstructed, improved width of not less than 20 feet, except single-family residential driveways serving no more than two improved parcels containing dwelling units shall have a minimum of 16 feet of unobstructed improved width. In most cases, the City of Poway construction standards for streets (Chapter 12.20 PMC) will be more restrictive. The more restrictive standard shall apply. Vertical overhead clearance shall be a minimum of 13 feet 6 inches.


1. Upon approval by the fire code official, vertical clearances or width may be reduced provided such reduction does not impair access by fire apparatus and approved signs are installed and maintained indicating the established vertical clearance.

2. Fire access roadways, gated entrances with card readers, guard stations, or center medians, which have separated lanes of one-way traffic shall be not less than 12 feet wide per lane.

Section 503.2.3 is modified to read:

503.2.3 Surface. Fire apparatus access roads shall be designed and maintained to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus not less than 75,000 pounds unless authorized by the FAHJ, and shall be provided with an approved paved surface so as to provide all-weather driving capabilities. When deemed necessary in the opinion of the fire code official, a paved driving surface shall mean asphalt or concrete surface.

Section 503.2.4 is modified to read:

503.2.4 Turning Radius. The turning radius of a fire apparatus access road shall be a minimum of 28 feet as measured to the inside edge of the improvement width or as approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.2.5 is modified to read:

503.2.5 Dead Ends. All dead-end fire access roads in excess of 150 feet in length shall be provided with approved provisions that allow emergency apparatus to turn around. A cul-de-sac shall be provided in residential areas where the access roadway serves more than two structures. The minimum, unobstructed paved radius width for a cul-de-sac shall be 38 feet in residential areas. The Fire Chief shall establish a policy identifying acceptable turnarounds for various project types.

Section 503.2.7 is modified to read:

503.2.7 Grade. The gradient for a fire apparatus access roadway shall not exceed 20 percent. Grades exceeding 15 percent (incline or decline) shall be constructed of Portland cement concrete (PCC), with a deep broom finish perpendicular to the direction of travel, or equivalent, to enhance traction. The fire code official may require additional mitigation measures where he or she deems appropriate.

Section 503.2.8 is modified to read:

503.2.8 Angles of Approach and Departure. The angle of departure and the angle of approach of a fire access roadway shall not exceed seven degrees (12 percent) or as approved by the fire code official.

Section 503.3.1 is added to read:

503.3.1 Marking of Fire Apparatus Access Roads. When required, approved signs or other approved notices shall be provided and maintained for fire apparatus access roads to identify such roads and prohibit the obstruction thereof or both. All new public roads, all private roads within major subdivisions, and all private road easements serving four or more parcels shall be named. Road name signs shall comply with City of Poway Supplemental Engineering Standards, Street Sign Specifications. The fire code official may require the posting of a fire access roadway where parking has obstructed or could obstruct the required width.

Section 503.6.1 is added to read:

503.6.1 Security Gates. All gates or other structures or devices that could obstruct fire access roadways or otherwise hinder emergency operations are prohibited unless they meet the standards approved by the fire code official and receive Specific Plan approval. All automatic gates across fire access roadways and driveways shall be equipped with approved, emergency, key-operated switches overriding all command functions and opening the gate(s). Gates accessing more than four residences or residential lots, or gates accessing hazardous institutional, educational or assembly occupancy group structures shall also be equipped with approved emergency traffic control-activating strobe light sensor(s), or other devices approved by the fire code official, which will activate the gate on the approach of emergency apparatus with a battery backup or manual-mechanical disconnect in case of power failure. In the event of a power failure, the gate shall be automatically transferred to a fail-safe mode allowing the gate to be manually pushed open without the use of special knowledge or equipment. All automatic gates must meet fire department policies deemed necessary by the fire code official for rapid, reliable access. Automatic gates serving more than one dwelling or residential lot that are in existence at the time of adoption of this ordinance are required to install an approved emergency key-operated switch or other mechanism approved by the fire code official at an approved location which overrides all command functions and opens the gate(s). Property owners must comply with this requirement within 90 days of written notice to comply. Where this section requires an approved key-operated switch, it shall be dual keyed or dual switches shall be provided to facilitate access by law enforcement personnel.

Section 505.1 is modified to read:

505.1 Address Numbers. Approved numbers and/or addresses shall be placed on all new and existing buildings and at appropriate additional locations as to be plainly visible and legible from the street or roadway fronting the property from either direction of approach. Said numbers shall contrast with their background, and shall meet the following minimum standards as to size: four inches for single-family dwellings; six inches for multifamily dwellings; between six inches (minimum) and 18 inches (maximum) for commercial buildings; and between 18 inches (minimum) and 24 inches (maximum) for industrial buildings. Additional numbers shall be required where deemed necessary by the Fire Marshal, e.g. rear access doors, building corners, and entrances to commercial centers. The fire code official may establish different minimum sizes for numbers for various categories of projects. When required by the fire code official, roof numbers shall be installed meeting current fire department standards.

Section 505.3 is added to read:

505.3 Easement Address Signs. All easements which are not named differently from the roadway from which they originate, shall have an address sign installed and maintained, listing all street numbers occurring on that easement located where the easement intersects the named roadway. The minimum size of the numbers on that sign shall be four inches in height with a minimum stroke of 3/8 inch and shall contrast with the background.

Section 505.4 is added to read:

505.4 Map/Directory. A lighted directory map, meeting current fire department standards, shall be installed at each driveway entrance to multiple unit residential projects and mobile home parks, where the number of units in such project exceeds 15.

Section 506.1 is modified to read:

506.1 Key Boxes. When access to or within a structure or an area is unduly difficult because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for life saving or firefighting purposes, the fire code official is authorized to require a key box to be installed in an accessible location. The key box shall be a type approved by the fire code official and shall contain keys to gain necessary access.

Section 506.2.1 is added to read:

506.2.1 Emergency Key Access. All central station-monitored fire detection systems and fire sprinkler systems shall have an approved emergency key access box on site in an approved location. The owner or occupant shall provide and maintain current keys for the structure(s) for fire department placement in the box and shall notify the fire department in writing when the building is re-keyed.

Section 507.2.2 is modified to read:

507.2.2 Water Storage Tanks. Water storage tanks, when permitted by the fire code official, shall comply with Table No. 507.2.2 and installed in accordance with NFPA 22.

TABLE NO. 507.2.2 


Square Feet

Gallons Per Minute Water Flow





Up to 3,600




3,601 to 7,700



7,701 and above




When the exposure distance is 100 feet or less from an adjacent property or the severity of the potential fire risk has been determined to exist, an increase in water storage may be required by the fire code official.

1. Tank elevation shall be equal to or higher than the fire department connection on the premises. Regardless of domestic use, all tanks shall be equipped with a device that will ensure that the tank contains the designated amount of water for fire flow duration as determined by the Fire Department. Tank size may be increased to serve multiple structures on a single parcel.

2. The supply outlet shall be at least four inches in diameter from the base of the tank to the point of outlet at the fire department connection. The fire department connection shall be at least one 4-inch National Standard Thread (male), reduced to one 2-1/2-inch National Standard Thread (male). Additional outlets may be required.

3. Tanks that are supplied by municipal water, when permitted by the fire code official, shall have a capacity of 10,000 gallons provided that the sole use of these tanks is for fire protection purposes.

4. Location of fire department outlet shall be determined on the plot plan when submitted to the fire department. Consideration will be given to factors such as topography, elevations, and distance from structures, driveway access, and prevailing winds.

5.  The outlet shall be located along an access roadway and shall not be closer than 50 feet or further than 150 feet from the structure.

6. All exposed tank supply pipes shall be of an alloy or other material listed for above-ground use. Adequate support shall be provided.

7. Water storage tanks shall be constructed from materials approved by the fire code official and installed per manufacturer recommendations.

8. The fire code official may require any necessary information be submitted on a plot plan for approval.

9. Vessels previously used for products other than water shall not be permitted.

Section 507.3 is modified to read:

507.3 Fire Flow Requirements. Fire flows shall be based on Appendix B. Consideration should be given to increasing the gallons per minute set forth in Appendix B to protect structures of extremely large square footage and for such reasons as poor access roads, grade and canyon rims, hazardous brush, and response times greater than five minutes by a recognized fire department or fire suppression company. In hazardous fire areas, the main capacity for new subdivisions shall not be less than 1,500 gallons per minute, unless otherwise approved by the fire code official. If fire flow increases are not feasible, the fire code official may require alternative design standards such as alternative types of construction providing a higher level of fire resistance, fuel break requirements which could include required irrigation, modified access road requirements, specified setback distances for building sites addressing canyon rim developments and hazardous brush areas, and other requirements authorized by this Code and as specified by the fire code official.

Section 507.5.7 is added to read:

507.5.7 Fire Hydrant Spacing. Fire hydrant spacing shall be reasonably maintained and not minimized when location is determined by placement of a new structure. The fire code official shall approve the distance between fire hydrants, and fire hydrant locations.

Section 507.5.8 is added to read:

507.5.8 Fire Hydrant Systems – Construction. The fire code official may require a fire hydrant to have any combination of 4-inch and 2-1/2-inch outlets with National Standard Threads.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.060 Building services and systems.

Section 603.8.1 is modified to read:

603.8.1 Residential Incinerators. Residential incinerators shall be prohibited.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.070 Fire sprinkler systems.

Section 901.4.7 is added to read:

901.4.7 Fire Department Connections. Fire hose threads used in connection with fire-extinguishing systems shall be National Standard Thread or as approved by the FAHJ. The location of fire department hose connections and control valves shall be approved by the fire code official.

Section 903.2 is modified to read:

903.2 Where Required. Approved automatic sprinkler systems in new buildings and structures shall be provided in the locations described in this section. For the purpose of fire-sprinkler systems, buildings separated by less than ten feet from adjacent buildings shall be considered as one building. Fire barriers, partitions, and walls, regardless of rating, shall not be considered as creating separate buildings for purposes of determining fire sprinkler requirements. Mezzanines shall be included in the total square footage calculation.


1. Agricultural buildings constructed of wood or metal frames over which fabric or similar material is stretched which are specifically used as green houses are exempt from fire sprinkler requirements unless they are physically connected to other structures.

2. Group U occupancies not greater than 749 square feet, when the building is 10 feet or more from an adjacent structure or property line.

All occupancies within the City of Poway:

New Occupancies (Except Residential)

New Occupancies – Residential

Additions – All Occupancies (Except Residential)

Additions – Residential located in the City’s very high fire hazard area

All buildings greater than 5,000 sq. ft.

Required per California Residential Code

Additions of more than 25% of the square footage of an existing building, which results in a structure of 5,000 square feet or more, shall be required to be protected throughout the entire structure with a sprinkler system consistent with this section.

Residences may be required to install a Sprinkler system when the proposed addition is more than 749 square feet which results in a structure of 3,600 square feet or more when structurally feasible.




Residences may be required to install a sprinkler system when the proposed addition is more than 749 square feet which results in an increase in square footage of more than 50 percent when structurally feasible and when a special hazard such as a substandard water supply or a substandard access exists. Standards for water supply and access are defined by Section 15.24.050 of the Poway Municipal Code.

When sprinklers are required under this section, the structure shall be required to be protected throughout the entire structure with a sprinkler system consistent with this section.

Section 903.2.1 is added to read:

903.2.1 System Design. Automatic sprinkler systems shall be provided with the following design features:

1. For new buildings less than 750 square feet in size located in both the City’s water service area and very high fire hazard severity area that require a NFPA 13D life safety sprinkler system, water meters shall be a minimum of 3/4 inch, and the water service line shall be a minimum of 3/4 inch.

2. For new buildings greater than 749 square feet in size located in the City’s water service area that require a NFPA 13D life safety sprinkler system, water meters shall be a minimum one-inch, and the water service line shall be a minimum of one-inch.

3. For residential additions located in the City’s water service area that require a NFPA 13D life safety sprinkler system, water meters shall be a minimum one-inch, and the water service line shall be a minimum of one-inch.

4. For commercial and industrial occupancies commonly referred to as “spec buildings” wherein no specific end use is identified at the time of plan check, the sprinkler system shall provide a density of .45 gallons per minute per square foot for a 3,000-square-foot design area.

Section 903.4, Exception 1, is modified to read:

Exception 1 – Automatic sprinkler systems with less than 100 fire sprinklers protecting one- and two-family dwellings.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.090 Flammable finishes.

Section 2404.3.3.2 is added to read:

2404.3.3.2 Spraying Space. Spray operations of flammable finishes are prohibited outside if the spray area exceeds nine square feet and/or produces vapors that could reach any source of ignition.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.100 Fire safety during construction.

Section 3318 is added to read:

Section 3318

Fuel Modification Zones

3318.1 Fuel modification zone during construction. Any person doing construction of any kind which requires a building permit and includes installation of a fuel modification zone, shall remove all flammable vegetation within the approved fuel modification zone prior to the arrival of combustible material on the site and shall maintain during the duration of the project until all elements of approved fuel modification zones are installed and approved.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.110 Wildland-urban interface fire area.

Section 4903 is added to read:



4903.1 When Required. The Development Services Department or the FAHJ may require an applicant for a parcel map, subdivision map, minor development review application, development review, specific plan or major use permit for any property located in a wildland-urban interface fire area to submit a Fire Protection Plan (FPP) as part of the approval process.

4903.2 Content. The FPP shall consider location, topography, geology, aspect, combustible vegetation (fuel types), climatic conditions and fire history. The plan shall address the following in terms of compliance with applicable codes and regulations, including but not limited to: water supply, vehicular and emergency apparatus access, travel time to nearest serving fire station, structural ignitability, structure setback, ignition-resistive building features, fire protection systems and equipment, impacts to existing emergency services, defensible space and vegetation management. The plan shall recommend measures to reduce the ignitability of structures throughout the area being addressed.

Section 4907.2 is added to read:

4907.2 General Fire Setbacks. Buildings and structures located within a wildland-urban interface fire area shall be set back a minimum of 30 feet from property lines and biological open space easements unless the Poway Municipal Code requires a greater minimum. When the property line abuts a roadway the setback shall be measured from the farthest roadway edge.

Exception: When the fire code official determines the hazard from a wildland fire is not significant or when the terrain, parcel size or other constraints on the parcel make the required setback infeasible, this setback may be reduced to less than 30 feet when additional measures are employed to the satisfaction of the fire code official.

Section 4907.3 is added to read:

4907.3 Structure Setback from Slope. Single-story structures shall be set back a minimum 15 feet horizontally from top of slope to the farthest projection from a roof. A single-story structure shall be less than 12 feet above grade. A two-story structure shall be set back a minimum of 30 feet horizontally from top of slope to the farthest projection from a roof. Structures greater than two stories may require a greater setback when the slope is greater than 2 to 1.


1. Structures constructed with a noncombustible exterior wall adjacent to the slope, no openings adjacent to the slope, no combustible attachments to the exterior wall adjacent to the slope, and no roof eaves adjacent to the slope.

2. There exists no open wildland fuel area directly adjacent or juxtaposed to the structure, and, the slope is directly adjacent to developed parcels with fuel management principles in place.

3. The fire code official determines the hazard to be minimal.

Section 4907.4 is added to read:

4907.4 Fuel Modification. A person owning, leasing, controlling, operating or maintaining a building or structure in or adjoining a hazardous fire area, and a person owning, leasing or controlling land adjacent to a building or structure in or adjoining a hazardous fire area shall maintain an effective fuel modification zone by removing, clearing or modifying combustible vegetation and other flammable materials from areas within 100 feet from each building or structure, or as determined by the fire code official. The fuel modification zone shall be maintained according to applicable defensible space and vegetation management policies, the Wildfire Defensible Space Program and the Landscape and Irrigation Design Manual.


1. Single specimens of trees, ornamental shrubbery or similar plants used as ground cover, provided that they do not form a means of rapidly transmitting fire from the native growth to any structure.

2. With the approval of the fire code official, the width of the fuel modification zone may be reduced where ignition-resistant construction or other mitigation measures are implemented.

Figure 4907.4 Measurements of Fuel Modification Distance

Section 4907.4.1 is added to read:

4907.4.1 Fuel Modification of Combustible Vegetation from Sides of Roadways. The FAHJ may require a property owner to modify combustible vegetation in the area within 20 feet from each side of the driveway or a public or private road adjacent to the property to establish a fuel modification zone. The FAHJ has the right to enter private property to insure the fuel modification zone requirements are met.

Exception: The FAHJ may reduce the width of the fuel modification zone if it will not impair access.

Section 4907.4.2 is added to read:

4907.4.2 Community Fuel Modification. The FAHJ may require a developer, as a condition of issuing a certificate of occupancy, to establish one or more fuel modification zones to protect a new community by reducing the fuel loads adjacent to a community and structures within it.

Section 4907.4.2.1 is added to read:

4907.4.2.1 Land Ownership. Once a fuel modification zone has been established under section 4907.4.2, the land on which the zone is located shall be under the control of an association or other common ownership established in perpetuity, for the benefit of the community to be protected.

Section 4907.5 is added to read:

4907.5 Maintenance of Defensible Space. Any person owning, leasing, controlling, operating or maintaining a building or structure required to establish a fuel modification zone shall maintain the defensible space. The FAHJ may enter the property to determine if the person responsible is complying with this section. The FAHJ may issue an order to the person responsible for maintaining the defensible space directing the person to modify or remove non-fire resistant vegetation from defensible space areas, remove leaves, needles and other dead vegetative material from the roof of a building or structure, maintain trees as required or to take other action the FAHJ determines is necessary to comply.

Section 4907.5.1 is added to read:

4907.5.1 Trees. Horizontal clearance from tree crowns to structures shall be pruned to maintain a minimum of ten feet for fire resistive trees and 30 feet for non-fire resistive trees. Tree crowns within the defensible space shall be pruned to remove limbs located less than six feet above the ground surface adjacent to the trees. Portions of tree crowns that extend within ten feet of the outlet of a chimney shall be pruned to maintain a minimum horizontal clearance of ten feet. Dead wood and litter shall be regularly removed from trees. Ornamental trees shall be limited to groupings of two to three trees with canopies for each grouping separated horizontally as described in Table 4907.5.1.

TABLE 4907.5.1


Distances Between Edge of Mature Tree Canopies

Zone A

No more than three trees per cluster; minimum distance between clusters or individual non-clustered trees is 20 feet

Zone B

No less than 2x the diameter of the species’ mature canopy.

Section 4907.5.2 is added to read:

4907.5.2 Orchards, Groves, or Vineyards. All orchards, groves, and vineyards shall be kept in a healthy state and maintained as described below. A ten-foot firebreak shall be cleared between the perimeter of the orchard trees or row of grape vines and native vegetation or ornamental landscaping. Orchards shall be kept clean of dead and/or downed trees. Orchards and vineyards shall be free of combustible debris including, but not limited to, dead branches and dead foliage. All dead grasses between rows of trees or vines shall be removed.

Section 4907.5.3 is added to read:

4907.5.3 Eucalyptus Forests and Oak Woodlands. All forests and woodlands shall be kept in a healthy state and maintained as described below. The forest or woodlands shall be free of all dead, dying, or diseased trees (excluding tree stumps no higher than six inches above the ground). Dead, dying, or diseased trees shall include insect-infested trees and trees that are no longer living, in the last stages of growth, or infected by a pathogen of any type. If combustible vegetation is located underneath the drip line of a tree, the lowest branch shall be at least three times as high as the understory brush or grasses, or 10 feet, whichever is greater. Firewood shall be neatly stacked and shall have a minimum of 30 feet of clearance (no vegetation) around the entire firewood storage area. Debris and trimmings produced by the removal process shall be removed from the site, or if left, shall be converted into mulch by a chipping machine and evenly dispersed to a maximum depth of six inches.

Section 4907.6 is added to read:

4907.6 Landscape Plans. Landscape plans are required for new residential custom homes, production tract homes, multi-family residential, and commercial buildings. Landscape plans shall be submitted and approved by the Development Services Department and the fire code official prior to the issuance of a building permit. Landscape plan submittals shall follow the submittal requirements found in the Landscape and Irrigation Design Manual and shall, at a minimum, include a readable scale, the delineation of 100-foot fuel modification zones, the existing vegetation, all irrigated areas, a plant legend with both botanical and common names, and identification of all plant material symbols. The fire code official may expand or reduce the distance of the fuel modification zones based on project location, surrounding vegetation, and topography.

Section 4907.6.1 is added to read:

4907.6.1 Landscape Requirements. All plant materials used shall be from the list of suggested fire-resistive plant species identified in the Landscape and Irrigation Design Manual. The addition of plant material to the approved list will be at the discretion of the Development Services Department and fire code official.

Section 4907.6.2 is added to read:

4907.6.2 Landscape Installation. All landscaping shall be installed prior to final inspection for issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.120 Fireworks display.

Section 5608.1 is modified to read:

5608.1 General. Outdoor fireworks displays, use of pyrotechnics before a proximate audience and pyrotechnic special effects in motion picture, television, theatrical and group entertainment productions shall comply with California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Chapter 6 and Poway Municipal Code. The Director of Safety Services is the Issuing Officer for any fireworks permit required by this Chapter. The Director of Safety Services may delegate the duties of Issuing Officer at his or her discretion.

Section 5608.1.1 is modified to read:

5608.1.1 Scope. The possession, manufacture, sale, storage, use and display of fireworks are prohibited in the City of Poway except as provided in the Poway Municipal Code.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.130 Flammable and combustible liquids.

Section 5704. is modified to read:

5704. Location Where Above-Ground Storage Tanks are Prohibited. The limits referred to in Sections 5704. and 5706.2.4.4 of the 2013 California Fire Code and the 2012 International Fire Code in which storage of flammable or combustible liquids in outside above-ground tanks is prohibited are hereby established as the jurisdictional limits of the City of Poway (see exceptions at Section 5704.


1. With the Chief’s approval, Class I and II liquids may be stored above-ground outside of buildings in specially designed, approved, and listed containers which have features incorporated into their design which mitigates concerns for exposure to heat, ignition sources, and mechanical damage. Containers must be installed and used in accordance with their listing, and provisions must be made for leak and spill containment. The Chief may disapprove the installation of such containers when in his or her opinion, their use presents a risk to life or property. Storage in such tanks on any site shall not exceed 550 gallons for Class I or 1,100 gallons of Class II liquids. In no case shall such storage be permitted within 100 feet of any residential or institutional setting. Venting shall meet Fire Code and Air Pollution Control District standards, “No Smoking” signs shall be provided, and the tank shall be marked accordingly.

2. Crankcase draining may be stored in specially constructed above-ground storage tanks, approved by the Chief with a maximum capacity of 550 gallons. Such tanks may be located within a building when the Chief deems appropriate, and the container must be a specially designed, approved, and listed container which has features incorporated into its design which mitigate concerns for exposure to heat, ignition sources, and mechanical damage. Containers must be installed and used in accordance with their listing, and provisions must be made for leak and spill containment. In no case shall such storage be permitted in residential or institutional property.

3. With the Chief’s approval, temporary storage of a maximum of 10,000 gallons of Class II liquids may be permitted for a period not to exceed 90 days at remote construction sites and earth-moving projects consistent with Sections 5704 and 5706.

The following criteria shall be applied in areas within the South Poway Business Park, which are designated commercial, light industrial, or industrial park. With the Chief’s approval, Class I and II liquids may be stored above-ground outside of buildings in specially designed, approved, and listed containers which have features incorporated into their design which mitigate concerns for exposure to heat (two-hour fire resistance), ignition sources, and mechanical damage. Containers must be installed and used in accordance with their listing, and provisions must be made for leak and spill containment. Storage in such tanks on any site shall not exceed 5,000 gallons for Class I or 10,000 gallons for Class II liquids. The Chief may disapprove the installation of such containers when, in the Chief’s opinion, their use presents a risk to life or property. In no case shall such storage be permitted on residential or institutional property. A permit shall be obtained from the Fire Department following the approval of submitted plans prior to installation. Tanks shall be required to be secured by fencing and to have appropriate signage. The City’s Development Services Director shall determine methods of visually screening these tanks. In no case shall such installation be permitted within 50 feet of any building or property line which can be built upon, including the opposite side of a public way, unless an alternative design method for such installation is approved by the Fire Department and by any other appropriate City of Poway departments deem necessary, including the City’s Development Services Department. Temporary above-ground tanks for storage of Class I liquids of a maximum capacity of 550 gallons or Class II tanks with a maximum capacity of 10,000 gallons may be installed for a maximum of 90 days under specific restrictions and safeguards, on remote, isolated, secured construction sites, earth-moving projects, gravel pits, or borrow pits when approved by the Chief.

Section 5705.2.4 is added to read:

5705.2.4 Transferring Class I, II or III liquids. Class I or II liquids or Class III liquids that are heated up to or above their flash points shall be transferred by one of the following methods:

1. From safety cans complying with UL 30.

2. Through an approved closed piping system.

3. From containers or tanks by an approved pump taking suction through an opening in the top of the container or tank.

4. Approved engineered liquid transfer system.

Exception: Liquids in containers not exceeding a 5.3-gallon (20 L) capacity.

Section 5706.2.4.4 is modified to read:

5706.2.4.4 Locations where above-ground tanks are prohibited. The geographic limits in which the storage of Class I and Class II liquids in above-ground tanks is prohibited in residential areas is hereby established as jurisdiction limits of the City of Poway.

Section 5706. is added to read:

5706. Limitations on tanks for gravity discharge. Gravity dispensing of Class I or II liquids or Class III liquids that are heated up to or above their flash points is prohibited. Dispensing devices for flammable and combustible liquids shall be of an approved type. Approved pumps taking suction from the top of the tank shall be used. Flammable or combustible liquids shall not be dispensed by a device that operates through pressure within a storage tank. Air or oxygen shall not be used to pressurize an aboveground tank.

Section 5706.2.8.2 is added to read:

5706.2.8.2. Tank vehicle as a substitute for permanent tank prohibited. The use of a tank vehicle in a stationary manner as a substitute for an approved above-ground or below-ground fuel tank is prohibited.

Section 5806.2 is modified to read:

5806.2 Limitations. The geographic limit in which the storage of flammable cryogenic fluids in stationary containers is prohibited is hereby established as jurisdiction limits of the City of Poway.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.140 Liquefied petroleum gases.

Section 6104.2 is modified to read:

6104.2 Maximum Capacity Within Established Limits. The geographic limits in which the bulk storage of liquefied petroleum gas is prohibited for the protection of heavily populated and congested areas is hereby established as jurisdiction limits of the City of Poway except for areas specifically zoned by the City for such uses.

Section 6107.5 is added to read:

6107.5 Securing Tanks to Ground (Liquefied Petroleum Gases). Tanks shall be secured to prevent the tank from rolling or moving when required by the FAHJ.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.170 Chapter 80 Referenced Standards.

The following referenced standard of the California Fire Code is modified to read:

NFPA 13D is modified to read:

Section 7.1.5 is added to read:

7.1.5 Pressure-regulating valve. When available system water pressure exceeds 150 psi, a listed/approved pressure-regulating valve shall be installed at the system riser. Such valves shall be adjusted to restrict the outlet pressure to a maximum of 150 psig at any flow or no flow. When such valves are installed submittal documents must include manufacturer information sheets along with charts showing the dimensions (size) and flow characteristics inlet and outlet pressures at various flows for the type of valve being installed, and the valve shall be included in the design calculations.

Exception: At the discretion of the FAHJ the contractor may install a listed/approved pressure relief valve, piped to the system main drain, set to relieve the pressure at 175 psig, provided the available supply pressure does not exceed 175 psig.

Section 7.2.5 is modified to read:

7.2.5 Inspector Test. Each sprinkler system shall have a 1/2” or larger test connection with a threaded keyless valve. The valve shall be remote to the riser, located on the building exterior about five 5 feet above final grade and shall be remote from the riser. It shall be labeled with a permanent plate with minimum 1/4” lettering, contrasting with background, and stating: “INSPECTOR TEST”. (Pre-assembled riser assemblies with a built-in Drain/Test valve shall not be accepted for inspector test valve unless approved by the FAHJ.)

Exception: Automatic fire sprinkler systems for manufactured homes installed at the factory may have the inspectors test valve located at the location as designed at the factory.

Section 7.3.3 is added to read:

7.3.3 Pressure gauge. A listed 300 psi pressure gauge shall be permanently installed at the riser.

Section 7.6 is modified to read:

7.6 Alarms. A water flow switch shall be provided and located on the sprinkler riser above the check valve and main drain and shall actuate an audible fire alarm signal bell. The water flow switch shall be a retarding type with a delay between 15-60 seconds before activation of the signal bell. Alarm bell shall have a minimum diameter of 8 inches and be mounted on the exterior in the vicinity of the master bedroom. The alarm bell shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms with intervening doors closed.

Section 8.3.4 is modified to read:

8.3.4. Sprinklers may be omitted from carports and open attached porches when less than 4 feet in depth. However, attached garages shall be protected with intermediate temperature rated sprinklers with not more than 150 sq. ft. head spacing. Sprinkler heads in garages shall be protected against mechanical damage by approved guards, unless recessed heads are provided. Garage doors may be disregarded in the layout of the fire sprinkler system.

Section is modified to read: Where the fuel-fired equipment is above all of the occupied areas of the dwelling unit, at least one quick-response intermediate temperature sprinkler shall be installed above the equipment.

Section is added to read: 3-Head Calculation. When design conditions exceed the allowances of Section 10.2, a 3 sprinkler head calculation may be required by the FAHJ.

Section 10.2.5 is added to read:

10.2.5 Pressure Cushion. The system shall be designed 10% below available water source pressure during peak usage.

Section is modified to read: Hydrostatic Tests. Where a fire department connection is not provided, the system shall be hydrostatically tested at 200 psi. Manufactured or mobile homes shall be tested at 100 psi or as specified on the manufacturer’s nameplate.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.180 Appendix B, fire-flow requirements for buildings.

Section B103.3 is modified to read:

B103.3 Areas Without Water Supply Systems. For information regarding water supplies for firefighting purposes in rural areas and suburban areas in which adequate and reliable water supplies do not exist, the fire code official is authorized to utilize provisions in NFPA 1142 or the standard published by the Insurance Services Office document entitled Guide for Determination of Required Fire Flow.

(Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)

15.24.190 Conflict.

All other ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed. Wherever a conflict exists in this chapter, the more restrictive requirement shall apply. (Ord. 804 § 1, 2016)