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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. Not installing fire sprinklers can save $2,500 to $3,000 on a project. 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.

If you have any more questions, you can visit our website at www.tfgonline.com. We have a lot of information for ADUs, custom homes, and remodels that can be downloaded from the website. We also have cost guides for each of those projects which reflects the price fluctuations from this year. Thanks for your time and have a great rest of your day.

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