Residential Emergency Access

In an Emergency, Can The Fire Department Get Emergency Vehicles to my Home?

If your driveway is obstructed, it can slow down our response to you in an emergency. Locked gates, narrow driveways, trees, and archways that are too low, can hinder our ability to get to you and may result in damage to your property or our equipment. The following tips are recommendations that will make it easier for us to assist you in an emergency.


We recommend that:

  • They have a minimum of 20 feet wide clear opening.
  • They are capable of being opened by one person.
  • They are set back from the road. Gates too close to the road can be difficult for us to turn any of our apparatus through.
  • If you have a gate that takes a special code to open, please install a Knox key switch. These can be purchased and learned about on Knox's website.
Large Wooden Driveway Gates.


Archways over driveways should be a minimum of 13 feet 6 inches tall and be a minimum of 20 feet wide.

Timber Beam Archway.


Trees should be trimmed up to at least 13 feet 6 inches along a driveway. Most of our apparatus are taller and less maneuverable than your vehicles. Overhanging branches obstruct access and cause damage to our equipment.

Trees Lining a Driveway.


Using rocks to line a driveway can make it very difficult for us to access your property in an emergency. The rocks can cause damage to our vehicles and can be a tripping hazard for firefighters. They also can make it very hard to maneuver our hoses when dragging them to extinguish a fire.

Small Rocks Lining a Driveway.