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Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Is there a code that covers parking lots? I have an RV storage facility in design and the Fire Department says they want fire protection but will not provide any requirements, except to say "Do whatever is in the NFPA Code." But I cannot find anything beyond NFPA 88A which is for open or enclosed parking structures.

What I have is just an open parking lot - no structure. It is similar to a grocery store parking lot, but for the storage of self-driven RV's, pull-behind RV's and boats. The spaces are 12' wide. There is no full time personnel on site and no one is living, or allowed to live, on site. There is no structure or occupied facility closer than 500'.

Any other suggestions for how to come up with a reasonable gpm and time requirement for fire flow?

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RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Maybe look at NFPA 1

What is that actual adopted building code and fire code, plus years, for the ahj??

What state is this in?

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Or just say "there's nothing in the NFPA codes which cover this so that's what I'll do - Nothing". As said before, make some useful provisions such as not storing LPG containers, creating a bit of space to limit the numbers in any one section and then make sure no one lives there. Ever.

Seriously, if you're in the middle of no where and can't harm anyone, what's the issue here?

Your insurer may have some issues though so I would get them on board first then worry about the FD later.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Forgot how big is the lot xxxx feet by xxxx feet???

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

I really want to say "there's nothing in the NFPA codes which cover this so that's what I'll do - Nothing". But after watching the Fire Marshall swing his arms around the table saying "There's all kinds of provisions in the code requiring hydrants. I can't tell you all of them, but I know they are there. You just have to look." So I have the main guy saying he "knows hydrants are required" but has no idea what that means. That makes the job a bit more difficult.

I checked NFPA 1 and find it only covers structures. The next best path seems to be a reasonable selection of flow and duration with a reasonable description of the basis and then submit the design for approval. I think the Fire Marshall only wants something as a CYA for his own benefit and someone to point to if there is ever a problem. I used to work for managers who had this mentality. ;>)

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Forgot how big is the lot xxxx feet by xxxx feet???

Not into NFPA 1

But it does cover more than buildings, to include what you are looking at.

Fire hydrant requirements, spacing, fire flow.

Fire lane access roads, design, material, width, …………

Gates across fire lane

Address numbers


WHAT actual code is adopted by the city???

Have you talked to the Building official and zoning person??? They get into site design.

Drainage, set backs, easements….

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Thanks cdafd. I took a closer look at NFPA 1 and see what you mean. In my first look I discounted the code before I really looked into it. I do find several items which can be helpful or applicable to the project. The City has adopted the 2021 code, but there are several exceptions in a separate document. I'm going back through them now to see if I may have missed anything. I wish I could talk with the city's building official, but they are going through a personnel change and that option is not too good right now.

The site is initially about 2 acres in size. But it can expand to almost 18 acres. In other words, roughly 100 storage spaces to start and up to, maybe, 700 under full development. Depends on demand.

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

Just a couple minimums, not all most ahj’s should require

Paved fire lane, meeting ahj standards. With expansion in future, a turnaround, better looped fire lane, you will basically do this, unless you were planning a dirt lot?? Which the fire lane will be required to be paved.

Fire hydrants spaced per ahj standards.

Good luck

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

The danger is that someone could be in or near an RV, cleaning it or working on the engine, when another RV catches on fire.

Will you be required to have a telephone in order to call 911 in case of an emergency? I know no one would ever think to use a landline and would just use the mobile phone in their pocket, but we have an open shelter used as a repair site for farm tractors that requires a telephone in case of fire or medical emergency. It has its own address, so it is cannot be considered part of the nearby industrial facility.

RE: Fire Code for Parking Lots?

The addition of a land line for calling 911 is interesting. May pass it by the owners. As for someone there working on an RV, the project permit does not allow for any mechanical work on the site. We did get the Fire department to admit there is no code for an RV storage facility since it is acting just as a parking lot. That is an interesting change of mind by the FD. Hopefully it will stick.

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