Fire Codes

San MAteo COunty Wildfire Fire Codes 4291

San Mateo County Fire agencies adopted the 2007 California Fire Code in 2008. Many codes relate to new construction or remodels and are listed here for reference. Some Fire agencies have adopted stricter codes and it is always wise to check with your local jurisdiction before planning a remodel or new construction project. These newer codes are intended to establish minimum standards for the protection of life and property by increasing the ability ofa building to withstand the effect of a wildfire and will therefore contributes to a systematic reduction in conflagration losses.

California Wildland Urban Interface Code Information

Wildfire code enforcement in San Mateo County is conducted by a variety of County, local, state, and federal agencies, including:

San Mateo County Fire Agencies


Below are a quick reference to general Fire Codes and Standards in San Mateo County.  These Codes and Standards vary by property location, so please refer to the fire agency or municipality responsible for your location for specific details.

Defensible Space

Defensible Space for Structures: By utilizing ignition resistant building materials and standards, structures have an increased ability to resist intrusion of flame or burning embers projected by a vegetation fire. Certain jurisdictions may have requirements regarding installation of roofs, eaves and roof vents, exterior wall materials, exterior windows and doors as well as decks.

Roadside Vegetation Clearance: Shall be cleared of flammable vegetation with a vertical clearance of 13 feet 6 inches and 10 feet from the roadway edges. Any person that owns, leases, controls, operates or maintains a building or structure shall maintain a 30 feet firebreak and up to 100 feet provide a reduced fuel zone or to the property lines, whichever comes first.

Roofs: Each jurisdiction may have more stringent codes, please refer to your local agency. It is recommended that all new construction have Class A Fire Resistive construction roofing.

Spark Arrestors: Are required on all chimneys and outdoor fireplaces. Spark arrestor shall be constructed with heavy wire mesh with openings not to exceed 1/4 inch to prohibit the release of fire brands and embers.

Access and Roads

Property and Street identification: Addresses must be plainly legible and visible from the street. Numbers must be at least 4 inches high on contrasting background. Streets and roads must be identified with approved signs.

Width and vertical clearance: Fire apparatus access shall have an unobstructed road width of at least 20 feet and vertical clearance of 13 feet 6 inches. Fire apparatus access shall not be obstructed in any manner including vehicle parking or vegetation intrusion.

Gates: The installation of a security gate shall be approved by the fire department. Gates shall have an approved means of emergency operation.

Bridges: Must be constructed and maintained to carry the load of fire apparatus. Load limits shall be posted at both entrances to the bridge.

Water Supply

Storage: Minimum water supply for new dwellings (that do not exceed 3,600 square feet) shall be capable of supplying a flow of 100 gallons of water per minute for duration of 2 hours (10,000 gallons). (Appendix B-105.1)

Sprinklers: Automatic sprinkler systems may be required for new construction or remodeled structures. Please contact your local fire agency for specific jurisdictional requirements.

Hydrants: The fire hydrant shall be accessible at all times and shall have a perimeter clearance of 3 feet.

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