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Are Fire Sprinklers Required in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

Are Fire Sprinklers Required in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Hi I’m Brian Freeman. Today I want to discuss ADUs and fire sprinklers. Questions often arise during the design/plans phase. A common question is “do we have to install fire sprinklers into a detached ADU?” The answer is “maybe.” If the main home or dwelling has fire sprinklers, sprinklers are definitely required in the new ADU.

When the main house does not have fire sprinklers, then the new ADU does not require them. You can find out more information on ADUs not requiring fire sprinklers HERE

Do We Recommend Not Installing Fire Sprinklers in Your ADU?

Not installing fire sprinklers can save $2,500 to $3,000 on a project, but we do not recommend this, and instead recommend installing fire sprinklers. Sometimes people confuse occupancy safety with wildfires. When a fire in the home is in the incipient stage, the heat triggers the fire sprinklers which ends the fire threat immediately, while it is still in that initial stage. Although we recommend them, they are not required when they do not exist in the main home.

The City of Poway

The City of Poway is a little different from the County of San Diego. Poway allows ADUs up to 1,500 square feet. Anything over 1,200 square feet automatically kicks any dwelling into a mandatory fire sprinkler install. ADUs in Poway often require upgrading the water meter because many older homes have a three-quarter inch meter instead of a one-inch meter.

Wrapping Up

You can access more information on Poway accessory dwelling units HERE

If you would like more information about building, buying, or selling your home or land contact us. You can also join us and listen to “The Real Property Show” podcast.

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2 Comments

  1. Gene Matter

    “When the main house does not have fire sprinklers, then the new ADU does not require them.” Can you site your source (ie building code, fire code, etc) for this statement?

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