I see it a lot of times, company vehicle parking in the fire lanes, Ill just be a minute or ill move it if theres a fire, or it’s just a municipal bylaw! So what did your company cover off with you regarding fire safety during fire prevention week?
We all know that parking in a fire lane is illegal. Yet, many citizens do just that every day. The space outside of a business is not a loading zone if it is designated as a fire lane; it is not a special use parking space, nor is it a place to wait for passengers to exit the building. So, what is the fire lane for? The fire lane is an area reserved for fire apparatus responding to an emergency to stage, or park, at a useful distance from a structure. Put simply, the fire lane is the department’s launch pad for interior firefighting or other emergency response. You would not want to park on the launch pad of a space craft or an aircraft carrier! The same idea applies to the fire lane. For every 30 seconds of delay, a fire may double in size. Fire Lane Signs make sure that fire fighters can do their job quickly. Keep fire lanes always clear of parked or standing cars. A vehicle parked in a fire lane or a roadway is subject to towing, at owner’s risk and expense.
In urban areas in North America, a fire lane is a marked lane in a parking lot that is near a structure or a traffic lane marked “Fire Lane” that runs along the centre of a street. Parking is prohibited in fire lanes to ensure the access of safety equipment to the structure in the event of an emergency. Fire lanes are defined as passageways or access roads that allow fire apparatuses to pass through. They are not intended for normal vehicle traffic. There are certain requirements that must be met when designing a fire lane. Because fire trucks and other apparatuses are so large, there must be certain accommodations made for them. Though these can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, they are generally similar. Fire Lanes also provide clear space for egress from a burning building and should therefore be wider for larger occupancy buildings.
Cars parked illegally in fire lanes also make evacuation difficult, if not impossible. Many of the emergency exits will open into the fire lane for rapid dispersal of patrons within. Additionally, cars in the fire lane are within what firefighters call the “collapse zone.” If the building falls from fire damage, the majority of the debris will fall within that fire lane.
Fire lanes may be any width larger than 20 feet across. This gives enough room to maneuver the truck into position. They must also be at least ten feet away from any building or structure overhang to allow overhead clearance. If trees are near a fire lane, they must be trimmed to allow a 14-foot clearance over the fire lane. The fire lane must be within 150 feet of the ends of the buildings that it serves. If a fire lane goes around a curve or corner, it must have an outside turning radius of 54 feet, and an inside turning radius of 30 feet. These numbers can be a little different depending on the jurisdiction, but are usually roughly the same. The fire lanes must also be approved to carry at least 35 tons of weight.
All fire lanes must be marked as such, although the manner of marking may be different. If the lane is 20 feet across, it must be marked on both sides with red paint on the curb. If the fire lane is between 20 and 24 feet, it may only be marked on one side of the roadway. If the access road is greater than 28 feet wide, no markings need to be present. Fire lanes in front of commercial buildings may have yellow paint to mark the fire lane. The curb should be painted yellow with the words “No Parking,