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What are the requirements for a dedicated fire lane in the City of Austin?

When designing a site within the City of Austin, special consideration must be made when designing fire lanes.
Fire Lane Site Design

Fire lanes are passageways that allow emergency personal to reach and manage fire or medical emergencies.

When designing a site within the City of Austin, special consideration must be made when designing these lanes because fire trucks and their apparatus are generally very large. Requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in general they require larger turning radii’s, wider lanes, load-bearing pavement design and overhead clearances for egress from a burning building.

In the City of Austin, fire lanes are required to have a width of at least 25’, inside turning radii of at least 25’, outside turning radii of not less than 50’ and an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 14’. Section 503.2.1 of the Fire Code allows for the following exceptions.

  1. Such unobstructed roadways are not in locations where aerial apparatus deployment could be necessary to achieve control and/or extinguishment of a fire.
  2. Turning radii are adequate for maneuvering fire department and other emergency services vehicles.
  3. The access roadway is part of a system of roadways or driveways that include interconnected public and/or private roads or driveways that provide multiple pathways for emergency vehicles to access the structures served by the roadway system. These alternate private roads or driveways must by sufficiently wide to accommodate the deployment of emergency vehicles anticipated for that segment during a potential emergency (e.g. outrigger placement and aerial operations for fires in multi-story structures), and must maintain a turning radii adequate for maneuvering fire department and other emergency services vehicles.

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