Fire Lane Striping Requirements
Is it time to restripe the fire lanes? Depending on where you live, there are different requirements when it comes to striping fire lanes. The following rules are followed by most jurisdictions, but it’s important to check with your local Fire Marshal for the specifics of where you live.
Most cities require fire lanes to be a minimum of 20 feet across and should be far enough away from any structures or overhangs so that vehicles will not be impeded. The road where the fire lane is located must also be able to hold 35 tons of weight. There should be no height impediments, as emergency vehicles are quite tall. This means trimming tree branches and making sure overhangs are not too low for an emergency vehicle to pass under.
The markings used for fire lanes depend on the size of the lane itself, and where the lane is located. For example, if your fire lane is in front of a building, it should be marked “NO PARKING FIRE LANE.” If the lane is 20 feet across, you should mark both sides, but if it sits between 20 and 24 feet across, you’ll only need to mark one side. The red stripe should be 6 inches wide with 4-inch writing on it.
How Often Should You Restripe Your Fire Lanes?
Keeping fire lanes marked clearly is important for everyone’s safety. Generally, you should be restriping your fire lanes about once a year, but several factors contribute to how often you need to restripe.
The amount of traffic is the first thing to consider. Is there a lot of traffic flowing through the area? If so, your striping will fade faster, as tires wear down the paint.
The other thing to think about is weather. Harsh weather like heavy rain and snow will make the paint fade faster, but if your fire lane is protected by trees or other types of overhangs, then it’s possible your striping will be protected and you won’t have to restripe as often.
Although it’s generally recommended to restripe once a year to keep the lines fresh and visible, if you live in a milder climate and the location doesn’t have much traffic, you may be able to get away with only restriping every two years or so. Conversely, a more extreme climate and lots of traffic means you’ll need to restripe more often.
Benefits of Striping Your Fire Lanes
If your local Fire Code Official deems it necessary to mark a particular road as a fire lane, then you’ll be required to do that. Marking the fire lane will tell drivers where it’s not okay to stop or park, and they will also make it clear where obstructions must be removed in case of an emergency.
The main benefit of striping your fire lane is that, in case an emergency vehicle needs to drive down the road, the space where it can drive is clearly shown, and other vehicles will know to stay out of the way. This keeps everyone on the road safe and makes it easier for emergency vehicles like fire trucks and ambulances to pass through, and keeps response times faster.
For everyone’s safety, it’s very important to keep these lanes clearly marked if it is deemed necessary. Keep these lanes clear for emergency vehicles by restriping at least once a year to keep the paint bright, fresh, and visible.