The Fire Station, The Station Articles

10 More Fire Station Design Tips

AXIS Architecture + Interiors designed Station 44 for the Carmel (IN) Fire Department. The first floor houses the apparatus bay, gear room, and office/work space for those on duty. The second floor allows circulation to personal dorms and bathrooms. There is also a large open kitchen, dining, and TV room in the new construction for Station No. 44. Photo Courtesy of AXIS Architecture + Interiors.

The following are 10 station design tips compiled by members of F.I.E.R.O. based on its jurors’ years of experience in designing fire stations as well as judging station designs for F.I.E.R.O.’s Fire Station Design Symposium awards entries.

  1. The decontamination area should have large stainless steel sinks and perhaps a shower stall as well.
  2. The decontamination room should have an outside entrance, otherwise you will have contaminated the station getting to it.
  3. Be familiar with the NFPA requirements for response times when selecting a site for your station. For career departments, the standard is NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments. For volunteer and combination departments, it is NFPA 1720, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments.
  4. Make sure to accommodate turning radius and weight of trash and recycling vehicles in parking area designs.
  5. Don’t forget to seek input from the people who will be working in the firehouse. It will not only boost morale and create pride of ownership but may also create an award-winning firehouse.
  6. Incorporate materials that are durable and low-maintenance. Limit painted surfaces when possible. Refrain from floors that need to be waxed.
  7. Make sure HVAC systems are designed to be used 24/7/365. This is not a house, and it is not a commercial building—it’s a hybrid that is always working.
  8. Design landscaping to be low-maintenance or even maintenance-free. Use native plants that are most likely to survive the test of time.
  9. Be aware of security issues and the potential for terrorist threats. Employee access, security cameras, fences, gates, outside lighting, etc.
  10. In designing curb cuts, drive turning radii, and the like, be aware that the path of the rear wheel of the apparatus follows a path that is inside the turning radius of the front axle.

Tips courtesy of the Fire Industry Education Resource Organization (F.I.E.R.O.).