Fire Marshal Site Plan Guidelines

Site Plan Review Guidelines 2019
Pursuant to International Fire Code 2015 and NFPA Safety Code as adopted by the
Charter Township of Lyon

IFC - International Fire Code
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association


  • Site plans shall provide more than one point of access to the site. The Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or his designee must approve access points. 
  • Emergency access routes must be capable of handling the weight of fire apparatus weighing at least 75,000 pounds, must be at least eighteen (18) feet wide in setup areas, and a minimum of fifteen (15) feet for ingress/egress. The surface shall be approved gravel, asphalt, cement or permeable pavers. The Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee must approve all emergency access routes. 
  • Emergency access roads must be clearly marked by signage stating, “Emergency Access Only” at entrance points and “Fire Lane, No Stopping, No Standing, No Parking,” Every 75 feet along the road as designated by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee. Entrance points must discourage non-emergency traffic while not impeding emergency apparatus. 
  • Emergency access roads are preferred to encircle the structure(s). Dead end emergency access roads, depending on length, must provide a cul-de-sac or hammerhead type turn-a-round approved by the Fire Chief or designee. In certain circumstances-based primary on length and access a turn-a-round may not be required as determined at the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee. 
  • Ingress/egress gates, barricades or obstructions must provide approved department “Knox Boxes/Knox Padlocks” for entry. 
  • Electric gates shall be equipped with a means of opening the gate by fire department personnel for emergency access. Emergency opening devices shall be approved by the fire code official. 
  • Minimum clear width of a fire lane shall be 18 feet. The minimum clear height of a fire lane shall be 15 feet, including canopies, bridges, etc.

Access Roads 

  • Dead-end fire access roads:
    • 0-150’ long, 20-feet wide, no turnaround
    • 150’-500’, 20-foot wide, requires 120’ hammerhead (60’ “Y” or 96’ dia cul-de-sac)
    • 501’-750’, 26-foot wide, requires 120’ hammerhead (60’ “Y” or 96’ dia cul-de-sac)
    • Fire lanes:
      • Building is less than 30-feet tall:  20-feet wide and extend to within 150’ of all parts of the building, expanding to 26-feet wide at fire hydrants. 
      • Building is over 30-feet tall, aerial apparatus pads, 26-feet wide, must be provided no closer than 15’ feet and no further than 30’ from the building.

Alarm Systems

  • Alarm systems must be installed in all buildings according to NFPA 72.

 Annunciator Panels

  • The annunciator panel for the alarm/suppression systems must be located just inside of the main entrance and visible from the main entrance as well. All alarms must be labeled and zoned.

 Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)

  • The AHJ being the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee under the IFC (sec 103.2, 104.1) and NFPA (3.2.2) from time to time may adjust or update the “Site Plan Review Guidelines” due to code changes and/or emergency services life safety mitigation needs

 Dry or Wet Hydrants

  • Fire Hydrant minimum requirements shall be located so that all sides of buildings and structures will be within 250 feet of a hydrant and not closer than 50 feet.
  • In single-family residential areas consisting of 5 or more homes, an adequate water supply must be considered and recommended by the AHJ and approved by the Township board as recommended by the Planning Commission.
  • Dry hydrants shall be at least 3 feet, but no further than 6 feet, from the back of the curb or road edge. Height of hook-up point shall be 24-30 inches.
  • Curbs, guard posts, guardrail, or other acceptable methods, if determined to be in a hazardous location, shall protect hydrants.
  • Hydrants shall be marker/flagged with approved devises for easy location during winter months.
  • Additional hydrants may be required depending on the type of hazard or use to protect the structure and/or contents.
  • Hydrants must meet Charter Township of Lyon and One “5” Storz” steamer connections with two 2 1/2” standard thread connections are required.
  • Site plans shall note water sources including all dimensions of ponds, rivers, accessibility, and a minimum of 2 feet below the 50-year drought level, as determined by a registered engineer. 
  • Completion of dry hydrants, underground water storage tanks or static water supplies must be in compliance with the Lyon Township Fire Department installation guidelines. 
  • Hydrants shall not be blocked by obstructions.

 Fire Department Connections (FDC)

  • Fire Department Connections (FDC) shall be a 5” Storz with 30 degree down turn and be visible from the street or in a location approved by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee, and have one horn/strobe located above the FDC. If the FDC is not located street side, a second horn/strobe will be required on the structure.
  • Fire Department Connections shall be located so the firefighters and fire apparatus can make immediate access. Obstructions such as fences, bushes, trees, walls, electrical transformers, dumpsters, vehicles, gas meters, or other similar objects shall not be permitted for new or existing installations. There shall be 15 feet of clearance around FDCs.
  • Hydrant must be within 100 feet of a FDC. Standpipe and FDC locations
  • Buildings with multiple FDC’s that have separate sprinkler systems or zones must have a horn/strobe located above them at the roof line indicating which system has activated the alarm. Also, each must be marked with proper signage. 
  • Fire hydrants and or/water supplies are important, especially when sprinklers and standpipes systems are installed. There shall be a designated fire hydrant for each FDC. The distance between the hydrant or water supply and the FDC will need the approval of the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee. Generally, the distance from the hydrant and FDC shall not exceed 75 feet.

Knox Box/Locks

  • The Knox Box shall be located and visible while standing outside of the main entrance of the building.

Exception: Structures with multiple tenants such as a strip mall shall be located at each rear door or another place determined by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee. Installation shall be no more than 5 feet from ground level. Knox padlocks may be used to secure access gates when approved by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee.


  • Location of “Fire Lane, No Stopping, No Standing, No Parking,”, or “Emergency Access Only,” or “Authorized ___________ Parking Only,” type signs shall be designated by the Fire Chief, Fire Code Official or designee in accordance with applicable ordinances. They shall be spaced not greater than 75 feet apart. 
  • Fire Department road/parking type signage shall be 12” by 18” and meet the adopted International Fire Code and NFPA Life Safety Codes. 
  • Curbs, asphalt or cement painting (Red or Yellow paint) may be required in fire lanes or authorized parking areas. 
  • Fire Department Connections shall be marked with signage approved by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee. 
  • All Fire suppression access doors shall be marked with a minimum of ¾ letters. 
  • All mechanical, electrical, elevator, roof access, HVAC rooms shall be marked with a minimum of ¾” letters. 
  • Exit routing signs shall be placed throughout the building and approved by the Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee and Building Officials. 
  • Address numbers are to be a minimum of 6 inches, in contrasting colors.

 Stand Pipes

  • Standpipe hose connections are required in buildings with extensive corridors or long travel distances. These hose connections are required in single-story buildings as well as multi-story buildings. Single-story hose connections shall be located towards the center of the building as to accommodate shorter hose lays for firefighting. Multi-story buildings shall have hose connections located in stairwells to accommodate shorter hose lays in upper levels of buildings. The hose connections shall be 2 ½” NST diameter with a 2 ½” to 1 ½” reducer and cap provided. The Fire Chief, Fire Marshal or designee shall determine exact location and number of standpipe connections.

 Sprinkler Systems

  • All buildings meeting the requirements of the IFC must have fire suppression systems installed according to NFPA 13.