Fire Safety First Program

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Program Summary

At its July 27, 2015 meeting, the City of Redwood City City Council approved an ordinance requiring the installation of a life safety fire sprinkler system for apartment buildings built prior to 1989 and containing four or more units. This ordinance is the result of the July 2013 Hallmark Apartment Building Fire and the October 2013 Terrace Apartment Building Fire. The combined property loss was estimated at $26 million dollars, claimed the life of an occupant, and injured both civilians and firefighters. Both fires created a decrease in the housing stock by 147 units and several millions of gallons of water were used to extinguish both fires.

There are approximately 586 buildings that require life safety fire sprinkler systems in Redwood City. The primary goal of this ordinance is to reduce the number of deaths; injuries; ensure firefighter safety; and reduce and limit property losses from fire. The Redwood City Fire Department is committed to providing the highest level of fire prevention services to all our residents and commerce community. This ordinance will greatly enhance our promise to the community to provide the best fire services possible.

Read a staff report about the Fire Safety First program provided at the July 27 Council meeting

Read a staff presentation about the Fire Safety First program delivered at the July 27 Council meeting

Goals of the program

  • Safe evacuations and to save lives
  • The retrofit goal is to protect exits and hallways
  • Evaluate and implement in partnership with the building owner the least disruptive approach to tenants
  • Varied approach based on unique attributes of each building
  • Field review with Fire department officials to expedite the process
  • Easy process for building owners including offering a pre-approved contractor list and allowing the newest piping technology to be used