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Fire Lane Striping: Guide to Safety, Compliance & Regulations

Fire lane striping safety by EverLine Coatings and Services.

You know it’s essential to keep your pavement in great shape to attract customers, provide a smooth driving experience, and prevent liability concerns. However, parking lot upkeep is about much more than filling in potholes and touching up parking spot lines—it’s also about keeping customers, employees, and patrons safe in the event of an emergency. 

Fire lanes (or fire zones) are some of the most critical safety markings you can include on your property. Here is everything you need to know about the rules, regulations, requirements, and importance of fire lanes.

What Is the Purpose of a Fire Lane?

A fire lane is a designated lane in a parking lot that allows firefighters, emergency response staff, and emergency vehicles quick access to a building or structure in the event of a crisis, like a fire or natural disaster, a medical incident, or a criminal offense.

Top Reasons for Clear Fire Lane Striping

Clear Communication

Parking in a fire lane or fire zone is prohibited. Dull, fading, or poorly marked fire lanes may confuse customers, which is why it’s essential to keep your fire lanes bright, vibrant, and easy to spot. By having clearly marked fire lanes, customers know exactly where they can (and can’t) park in your lot to ensure that the fire lane is kept clear.

Quick Response

Well-marked fire lanes can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes an emergency response team to act during a crisis. 

When arriving in your parking lot, a firetruck or ambulance will be able to immediately find a place to park so the trained emergency personnel can enter the building quickly. Keeping up with fire lane striping and parking lot maintenance can truly be the difference between life and death during an emergency.

Legal Adherence

A defined fire lane isn’t just a practical advantage—it’s also a legal requirement. Though fire lane marking regulations will vary from city to city and state to state in the U.S., depending on fire codes and guidelines, most states require visible fire lanes in parking lots. 

And just because you have a fire lane doesn’t mean it’s “up to par.” Fire marshals can issue fines for chipped, aging, or faded paint, which means that keeping up with fire lane maintenance is just as important as having the lane lines in the first place.

Fire Lane Striping Regulations & Requirements

According to American Legal Publishing, you must follow these national regulations for fire lane striping and signage:

  • Fire lanes should be identified with red painted curbs, a six-inch wide red stripe the entire length of the fire lane, or approved signs at the beginning and end of the fire lane.
  • Fire lane signs should be visible, clear of obstructions, and fitted to a stationary object. They should be reflective, include at least two-inch tall red letters on a white background, and be a minimum of 12″ wide by 18″ tall.
  • Fire lanes should be no more than 150 feet away from a building’s entrance (for one or two-story buildings) or no more than 50 feet away from an entrance (for buildings with three or more stories). Fire lanes must be at least 20 feet wide.

Remember, requirements may vary slightly depending on your state or city’s fire codes. If you have questions specific to your local area, ask a fire marshal for an inspection before and after creating your fire lanes to ensure you are in compliance.

Enhance Your Fire Lane Lines with EverLine Coatings and Services

If you need to create a fire zone to stay compliant with local guidelines or touch up your fire lane lines to ensure they are vibrant and marked clearly for emergency personnel and customers—allow our team at EverLine Coatings and Services to help.

Our parking lot line striping services cover all the markings you need for commercial pavement, from lane lines and accessible spots to crosswalks and, of course, fire lanes. We’re committed to keeping your pavement performing and looking its best—as well as keeping you and your patrons safe with high-quality pavement markings.

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