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San Diego County Fire Suppression Requirements

San Diego County Fire Water Tank & Fire Hydrant Requirements

Hi everyone. Today I want to cover something that’s very important when evaluating the site costs for land that you already own or want to buy. I’m specifically going to discuss what is involved with fire suppression, such as whether or not you need a fire hydrant, or a water storage tank installed.

How Much Does Fire Suppression Cost?

Fire suppression specifically applies if the property exists within the San Diego County area and unincorporated areas under the San Diego County Fire Authority’s jurisdiction. These locations include Ramona, Julian, areas of Escondido, and other areas that are unincorporated. These unincorporated areas do not belong to a city. Fire suppression can cost upwards of $20,000 to $25,000, so make sure to account for this on your property.

How to Determine if a Fire Hydrant or Water Storage Tank is Necessary

The first step to consider is whether a fire hydrant or water storage tank is necessary. To do this, determine where your home will sit. Draw the home on the parcel map to evaluate its orientation on the property. Next, determine the driveway location and the closest corner of the structure. Measure from that corner to the driveway, to the main road, and down the road to the nearest hydrant. Once you get that dimension determine if the house location meets the requirements.

NFPA 13 Standards for Fire Protection

All new homes today must have residential fire sprinklers. Those fire sprinklers must meet NFPA 13D standards. San Diego County Fire will stamp the plans and sign off on that approval process during the permit application time period. In case there was a fire inside your home, that hydrant must not exceed 625 lineal feet from the closest corner of your structure to your driveway. If you exceed 625 feet, you are required to either install a fire hydrant or a water storage tank. You must pay for the fire hydrant, which could be $25,000 or more, depending on the municipality or the water district that you’re working with.

What if a Fire Hydrant Is Not an Option?

If a fire hydrant is not an option, you may install a steel water storage tank, which won’t melt from a brush fire. Different sized storage tanks are allowed. If your structure is 1,500 square feet or less, you may install a 5,000-gallon capacity tank for the fire suppression. That tank must feed a hydrant with a fire department connection next to your driveway, which is no closer than 50 feet, and no farther than 150 feet away from your home or your garage. This allows the fire truck to roll up and hook onto that FDC to get the water.

Requirement for Homes Larger Than 1,500 Square Feet

If the home is larger than 1,500 square feet, then you must install a 10,000-gallon water storage tank. The install and hydrant must meet the same requirements as the 5,000-gallon tank. 10,000-gallon tanks can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to install depending on the tank, the location, how far you must trench to get your hydrant line in, and any pumps that you might need to install.

Recap on Fire Water Tank & Fire Hydrant Requirements

Remember that preparing the property for fire suppression can add a significant cost to your project when necessary. Make sure you find out where your house is going to go, find that corner of the home that’s closest to the driveway, measure down that driveway to the road and down to the hydrant to determine if you’re within 625 lineal feet or less. If you find a lot that already has the hydrant or storage tank, you know the added value to the lot, which could be worth paying a little bit more for that lot knowing that the extra expense will not come up later. I hope that helps. If you have more questions, please visit our website at www.tfgonline.com. We have a lot of information on how to buy land. Thank you again and have a great rest of your day.

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