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Frequently Asked Questions

Published on: 4/7/2014 10:09 AM
​This acronym stands for "County Fire Marshal's Office". You also may see us referred to as "FMO".
​Jurisdiction is the geographical area over which legal authority extends to enforce laws or pronounce legal judgments. For our purposes, this means the geographical area in which the County Fire Marshal's Office has the authority to enforce the County Fire Code, Title 19, of the California Code of Regulations, and those sections of the State Building and Mechanical Codes adopted by the California State Fire Marshal.
​All construction, land use, and special events within the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County fall within the jurisdiction of the County Fire Marshal's Office, except for:
1. Annual inspections and complaint investigation/enforcement may be handled by the responding fire department, if your property or facility lies within the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District, the Saratoga Fire District, the Los Altos Fire District, or the South Santa Clara County Fire District. For contact information for these other agencies see our Find Your Jurisdiction webpage or contact us at (408) 299-5762.

2. Fire sprinkler systems in modular buildings are another anomaly. Systems installed at the factory or installed on-site in existing modulars are regulated by the State Department of Housing and Community Development. The County Fire Marshal's Office does a review (as part of your Fire Sprinkler System submittal to our office) of your plans primarily for the adequacy of, and connection to, the water supply and conducts an inspection under normal system pressure of the system's integrity after the building has been assembled on-site .

3. County Owned or Leased Buildings are handled by our County Facilities Branch Office. 

4. Stanford University Medical Center, unlike the rest of the Stanford University Campus, falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Palo Alto.
Since the County Fire Marshal's Office is responsible only for fire prevention activities, emergency response services are performed in the fire districts by either the Santa Clara County Fire Department or the South Santa Clara County Fire District. If your property is located outside any fire district, Cal Fire is your fire department.
​You can download a copy from our Fire Code Amendments site.
​The County Fire Code is based on the California Fire Code with County amendments. The Fire Marshal's Office can not give you a copy of California Code as it is copyrighted. It can be purchased from the International Code Conference website. It may also be available at your local public library, but you'll want to call to make sure they have the current adopted edition. The County Amendments can be downloaded from our Fire Code Amendments site.
​PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Construction in public schools is regulated by the Department of the State Architect. However, approval from the local fire authority is required for fire department access and fire protection water supply for all projects. The County Fire Marshal's Office is the local fire authority for public schools in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. See our site, Local Fire Authority Review For Public Schools for details.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: Schools outside the public school system are regulated as any other private construction project.
​For non-residential projects, the first fee, titled "Fire Marshal LD" on the Building Permit Application, pays for a review by our Land Development Deputy for compliance with fire department access and fire protection water supply regulations. The second fee, titled "Fire Marshal", covers a review of your plans for compliance with the County Fire and Building Codes, as well as all required inspections.
For residential projects you will see the "Fire Marshal LD" fee, and you might see a "RES Water Sys" fee, which covers the Fire Marshal Permit and inspection for your tank and/or wharf hydrant system. (See our Fixed Fee Chart (link below) and our page Construction and Hazardous Permits under Residential Water System Permits section for more on the Residential Water System Installation Permit.)
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​Contact the South Santa Clara County Fire District at (408) 779-2121 for more information on this program.
​Our Land Development Deputy attends all Pre-Application and Pre-Screening meetings scheduled with the Planning Office. We strongly suggest that you take advantage of this process if your project is located on a hillside or has other problematic features. Our Land Development Deputy is available for counter consultations on a first-come, first serve basis from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday, except Holidays. You may also schedule a meeting with him by calling (408) 299-5763.
​If your barn/shed exceeds 500 square feet, a Fire Marshal review is required. The review would cover fire department vehicle access to the structure and available water supply for firefighting use. If the access road does not meet current standards, it will require improvement. If the water supply is from a tank, the storage capacity will be reviewed for adequacy and location of a wharf hydrant. If the structure is larger than 1,000 square feet an NFPA 13D fire sprinkler system will be required. If it is located in the Wildland Urban Interface, and NFPA 13 fire sprinkler system will be required for any structure over 500 square feet.
​No. The Fire Marshal's Office does not have separate plan checkers and inspectors, and our staff is small. Over-the-counter reviews would impact the efficiency of our first-come, first-served process of reviewing plans. However, if you have a small system you may qualify for our Minor Systems Modifications Program. See our Minor Systems Modifications Program site for detailed qualifications, forms, and guidelines you will need for a submittal of this type.
No. You must have a permanent working PG&E meter installed on your structure to conduct the final inspection.
​No. Only the Building Official has the authority to grant Final Building Occupancy. However, if Fire Marshal sign-off is required, you will need all fire protection systems to be Finaled before we can sign off on the Building Permit Card.
We have a first-come, first-served policy, so depending on the current volume of submittals and inspection requests, (our deputies are both plan reviewers and inspectors), your plans could take from a week to 40 days. However, we strive to get all plans reviewed within 30 days.
​For emergency responders to be able to get onto your property you need to provide a fire department lock box (commonly called a Knox Box) or gate switch. You must obtain an application from your local responding fire department and have them visit the site to close the box and/or test the key once it is installed. Our Land Development Deputy can give you the contact information for your local fire department. You can contact him/her at (408) 299-5763.
​The Fire Marshal's Office enforces the Fire Code, which has many provisions pertaining to hazardous materials. Our focus is on fire safety, injury prevention, and environmental protection. HMCD enforces the County's Hazardous Materials Storage Ordinance among other programs, whose focus is on protecting the environment and public health. There are some overlapping regulations between the two, however each agency also has many regulations that differ. We both try to coordinate our efforts to avoid confusion and inconvenience to our customers.
​Fire sprinklers are required by the Fire Marshal for a variety of reasons, all of which are mitigations for your project's inability to meet the strict provisions of the Fire Code. The most common reason is the lack of required fire protection water supply at the required pressure, which means there is minimal fire protection water supply available on the site with which to fight a structure fire. Residential fire sprinklers are economical, reliable and proven to be the best way to protect your family and home from the dangers of fire, which makes them a reasonable equivalent method of protection when you cannot provide the required fire-flow or your access does not meet the code. For more information please visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website.
​An access road serves more than one property or structure. A driveway serves only one structure or property.
​A turnaround is an area usually found at the end of a dead end driveway or Fire Department access road with approved dimensions, slope, load capacity and surface sufficient to allow fire engines to safely turn around. This is necessary because it is dangerous and time-consuming to drive fire apparatus in reverse for long distances, and can delay emergency response.
You will need to provide a turnaround if your driveway measures more than 150 feet from the center line of the access road to the furthest point of fire department access to the structure. You may also be required to provide a turnaround if the access road serving your project has a dead-end and is in excess of 150 feet. See our Standards site to view Standards CFMO-A1 for details.
​Driveways in excess of 500 feet require turnouts at no more than 500 foot intervals to allow for large fire department vehicles to pass each other or other vehicles when necessary. Turnouts measure at least 8 feet wide by 40 feet long in accordance with our Standard CFMO SD16. See our Standards site to view all our Standards.
​The code requires that you provide safe and adequate access for emergency vehicles whenever you develop a parcel or add more than 500 square feet onto an existing structure.
​Standard CFMO-A1 and the County Ordinance Code limits the maximum grade for both driveways and access roads to 15 percent. However, on a case-by-case basis our office (with the concurrence of County Land Development Engineering for access roads) may permit up to a maximum 20 percent if no other method is practicable and if consistent with good engineering practices. In no case shall the portion exceeding 15 percent gradient be longer than 300 feet in length, unless there is at least 100 feet at 15 percent or less gradient between each 300 foot section. If your access road and/or driveway is in excess of 15 percent you will be required to provide fire sprinklers throughout your new structure. To view our Standards click on the Related Link below.

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​Gates across driveways must be approved by the County Fire Marshal's Office to ensure access for emergency vehicles. When open, the gate or its hardware must not obstruct any portion of the required width of the driveway or access road. The responding fire department may require an override key, lock box or breakaway lock so they can open the gate in case of emergency. Gates across access roads are typically not allowed. See our gate Standard CFMO-A3 for details by clicking on the Related Link below.
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We recognize that this is a valid concern for residents, however speed bumps delay and can even damage heavy emergency response vehicles, as well as injure responders and patients in ambulances. There are acceptable means of calming traffic that may be appropriate for your situation, however they must be approved by the Fire Marshal and County.
Blue reflective markers (commonly referred to as "Botts dots") are placed in the street just inside of the centerline of the street to indicate the presence of a fire hydrant. Their color and reflective characteristics help the fire department find hydrants that may be hidden by vegetation or difficult to find at night. 
​Report these concerns to the Santa Clara County Development Services Office/Building Inspection Office at (408) 299-5700. (Related Link below.)

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​Report these concerns to the Santa Clara County Development Services/Building Inspection Office at (408) 299-5700.
​Contact the County Weed Abatement Program at (408) 282-3145 to report your concerns about hazardous vegetation or combustible debris (e.g. wood, paper, trash, etc.). The Weed Abatement Program is under the authority of the Santa Clara County Agricultural Commissioner, not the County Fire Marshal. For more information on their program view the Division of Agriculture's  Weed Abatement Program site.
​The County Fire Marshal's Office as of January 29th, 2009 issues burn permits. See details on how to apply on our Burn Permits site.
Call 911 while the burning is taking place. Be sure to clarify that this is not an emergency, but an illegal burn. Complaints should also be referred to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District at (415) 771-6000.
​Visit our Land Development site, which explains the process and refers you to a matrix of Fire Marshal Standards for Residential, Residential Subdivision, Commercial and Agricultural Exempt development. (Click on Related link below to go to our Standards page.)

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Lack of adequate fire protection water supply is the most frequent problem in areas where no recognized water purveyor is available. On-site water storage in large quantities requiring one or more standard hydrants pressurized by a fire pump can be quite expensive. A typical installation will require 250 gpm (gallons per minute) at 20 psi (pounds per square inch) for 30 minutes of operation, which equates to 7,500 gallons in storage, unless your project can qualify for our Isolated/Rural exception. This will be in addition to water needed for domestic, industrial or irrigation purposes. See Standard CFMO-W2 for details (click Related Links below). You may also be required to provide fire sprinklers if your project proposes structures over 1,000 square feet, or 500 square feet if the structure is located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) or if sprinklers are required by the Building Code. To see which WUI zone your rural property is in visit our Wildland Urban Interface webpage (link below) where you can view the Santa Clara County Draft WUIFA map, available in both PDF and Google Earth formats.
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​In accordance with the County Fire Code (CFC), "fire-flow is the flow rate of water supply, measured at 20 pounds per square inch (psi) (138kPa) residual pressure, that is available for firefighting." This refers to available water supply from a fire hydrant.
​Your non-residential project may qualify for our Isolated/Rural exception if it consists of a single structure or a group of 2 to 3 structures, that are located at least 50 feet from a property line or other structures or group of structures. Fire-flow is determined using Table B105.1 of the County Fire Code. Duration shall be for a minimum of 30 minutes rather than the duration listed in the table, reducing the quantity of fire protection water supply in storage. Check with our Land Development Deputy to see if your project qualifies at (408) 299-5763.
​The fire-flow requirement is determined using the gross square footage and California Building Code construction type as indicated by Table B105.1 of the 2007 County Fire Code.
​Pressurized hydrant systems in the unincorporated area of the County are privately owned by large Public Water Companies as well as smaller Water Mutuals. The company in charge of the system is best equipped to provide details regarding available system flow and pressure at a given location. In areas served by the Santa Clara County Fire Department, the County Fire Marshal's Office may be able to supply the information.
​The Primary tank holds the water necessary for domestic, irrigation, or industrial use, in addition to your fire sprinkler water supply. The Secondary tank supplies water to the Wharf Hydrant for firefighting purposes. The double tank system was devised to avoid possible contamination of the domestic water supply from the tank of the fire engine, as required by the County Plumbing Code. We require the combination of domestic and fire sprinkler supply in one tank to provide a degree of reliability for the fire sprinkler system as people are most likely to ensure that fresh water is available for other necessary uses at all times. See Standards CFMO W1 & CFMO W5 for details by clicking on related link below.
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Even though the structure itself may be "fire resistant", steel looses its strength at a fairly low temperature and is then subject to collapse, endangering contents, occupants and firefighters. Most fires involve burning contents, which in turn impact the integrity of the structure. Regardless of the combustibility of the building itself, a fire can occur within any structure, therefore fire protection water is required for all structures. Even if the structure is built with the intent to house non-combustible contents, there is no way to regulate the combustibility of the contents once the building is occupied, especially when the building is sold to another party.
​No, but extreme conditions can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Contact our Land Development Deputy at (408) 299-5763, or e-mail him at, to discuss your conditions.
​Tanks made of combustible material (e.g., polypropylene) may not be located with 20 feet of a structure. Tanks made of noncombustible material (e.g., steel) may be located within 5 feet of a structure. Check with the Santa Clara County Planning Office regarding the tank's location in relation to the property line.
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​We want the Wharf Hydrant to be a minimum of 55 feet from any structure so we can access it safely when the structure is on fire. We also need it to be within 150 feet of all exterior portions of the structure because the standard hoses carried by fire departments are 150 feet in length.  This distance is measured along the path of travel around the structure, not "as the crow flies" because firefighters can't fly! See our Standards site link below to view Standard CFMO-W4 for guidelines; however, because each property is different the final placement must be approved by our Land Development Deputy. He is available from 8 a.m. to Noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday (except Holidays) to answer your questions on a first-come, first serve basis.

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​Yes, this is the most common situation where you would need to add two tanks. One Primary tank, which is for your domestic and sprinkler needs and one Secondary tank for your Wharf Hydrant water supply. For residential requirements see our Standards to view or download CFMO-W1 and CFMO-W5; for non-residential requirement see CFMO-W2. 
​No. Above-ground tanks have proven to provide the most reliable source of water for fire protection needs.
History has shown us that swimming pools are not a reliable source of water due to seasonal draining, cracks, repairs, etc. Ponds contain mud, silt and wildlife, which can seriously damage fire department equipment during drafting operations. Also, it is difficult to provide an instant supply of water at the hydrant due to the elevation differences between the water level of the pool or pond and the hydrant outlet.  In addition, access to such water supply can be very difficult as pools are required to be fenced and secured, and ponds are usually located far from approved access roads designed to support the weight of a fire engine.
​Under certain conditions, yes:
(1) If your water company provides domestic water only (no hydrant system).
(2) If your water purveyor cannot supply the required minimum fire-flow to the nearest hydrant(s).
(3) If your water purveyor cannot provide the required quantity of water.
(4) If your water purveyor cannot provide a hydrant within the required distance.
A Standard Fire Hydrant is typically used in urban areas, but may be found in rural areas with a private Water Mutual company. Standard Hydrants are supplied by a pressurized pipe network, and have two 2-1/2 inch outlets and one 4 or 4-1/2 inch "pumper" outlet. The minimum pipe diameter feeding a Standard Hydrant is 6 inches.

A Wharf Hydrant is used for primarily residential applications in rural areas where the source of water is a well for an individual or shared well and its water is stored in aboveground tanks maintained by the property owner. The minimum pipe diameter for a Wharf Hydrant is 4 inches. A Wharf Hydrant has only one 2-1/2 inch outlet, and needs to provide only pressure from elevation or head pressure (pressure provided by the weight of the water in the tank) sufficient for positive flow at the outlet. View pictures of both hydrants on our Land Development site.
Yes. You don't need to make a submittal to the Fire Marshal's Office. We automatically issue you a permit along with your Building Permit, and you will pay your fees with your building inspection fees. You will need to call and schedule your tank and hydrant inspection with the Fire Marshal's office, not the Building Inspection Office.
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The following conditions require the installation of fire sprinklers throughout your house:
(1) All new construction.

(2) In all new one and two family dwellings and in existing one and two family dwellings when additions are made that increase the building area to more than 3,600 square feet. Exception: A one-time addition to an existing building that does not total more than 1,000 square feet of building area.

(3) Any additions to an existing structure exceeding 1,000 square feet and the total gross square footage is less than 3,600 square feet, where available fire-flow does not meet the minimum required fire-flow or the hydrant is located too far from the structure.

(4) All structures served by an access road or driveway which exceed 15% in slope.

(5) Projects where Standard Hydrants do not meet the required fire-flow or the nearest hydrant exceeds the maximum distance allowed by the Code may use sprinklers as outlined in our Standards CFMO-W1.  To view click on our Standards link below.
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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an agency that writes nationally recognized standards and guidelines related to fire and life safety. The California Building Standards Commission adopts many NFPA Standards by reference, including NFPA 13D, Installation of Sprinkler Systems for One-and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes. The County Fire Marshal's Office has modified certain provisions of NFPA 13D for application within our jurisdiction when sprinklers are used as a mitigation. Click on Standards Channel link below to view/download Standard CFMO-SP6 for details
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​A sprinkler head discharges far less water than a fire hose, and begins to control the fire long before the fire department arrives. Most fires in sprinklered homes are controlled, or even extinguished, by activation of a single fire sprinkler. Additional sprinklers will only activate (one at a time) if the first sprinkler is unable to control the fire. Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners with sprinkler systems for these reasons. For more information about how residential sprinkler systems operate, and can save your life, please visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website.
​Sprinkler heads do not activate without cause unless they have been damaged. It takes the high heat of a fire to independently activate each sprinkler, setting off that sprinklers discharge of water. Before the Fire Marshal's Office approves each system we require a pressure test at 200 psi (normal pressure is usually 50-70 psi) for two hours to look for leaks in the piping or at the sprinkler heads. Rest assured, residential sprinklers have been used throughout the country since the 1960's, and history has shown that the chances of accidental activation are 1 in 16,000,000.
First determine that your facility is in our jurisdiction by clicking on Find Your Jurisdiction Channel link below, which will take you through a step-by-step process that will verify you're contacting the right agency. If you are in another jurisdiction within the County you will also find contact information for that jurisdiction located on our Find Your Jurisdiction page.

Next, go to our Fire Clearance for State Licensed Facilities Channel link below to download our Licensed Facility Fire Inspection Application, which has a list of required submittal information and Pre-Inspection fees to be submitted to our office before we can schedule your Pre-Inspection. If you need assistance understanding the Pre-Inspection submittal requirements please call our office at (408) 299-5762 for assistance.

Please note that you may need a County Building Permit to convert your single family residence or other occupancy to a care facility. This can take a couple of months, so we recommend you contact the Santa Clara County Development Services/Building Inspection Office early in your process at (408) 299-5700 to see if you need an Occupancy Classification Change or any other permits from their office.

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If you need a Fire Clearance to complete the licensing process with the State, we will need the State agency to send us the Fire Safety Inspection Request (Form 850) before we can schedule an inspection.  To avoid delays, visit our site,  Fire Clearance For State Licensed Facilities for details (Related Link below). See our Flat Fee Chart on our Fees webpage for the current State Licensed Facility Fire Clearance Inspection fee. Both the form and fees need to be received before we can schedule your inspection. Also, you may need a County Building Permit to convert your single family residence or other occupancy to a care facility. You can contact the County Building Inspection Office at (408) 299-5700.

NOTE: The Department of Alcohol & Drug Programs allows you to download your own form and submit it to the local agency yourself.

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​Depending on what kind of licensed care facility you are starting you may need an Occupancy Classification Change because your home is classified as a Residential One or Two Family Dwelling. For this permit you need to contact the Santa Clara County Building Inspection Office at (408) 299-5700. They will forward a copy of your submittal to the Fire Marshal and we will complete the Fire Safety Inspection Request (850 Form) upon Building Permit Final. For details on getting your Fire Clearance see our site link below, Fire Clearance For State Licensed Facilities, which also has a link to the County Building Inspection Office site.
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​Facilities located within Fire Districts may be inspected on a periodic basis consistent with their individual policies. If your facility is located outside any Fire Districts, your facility will only be inspected upon request of the State agency licensing your facility. Any significant change in your facility (e.g., number of clients) will require a Fire Clearance from the County Fire Marshal's Office rather than the local Fire District because the County is your official "Authority Having Jurisdiction".
Details on our submittal process, applications, fee information, all Fire Marshal Standards and Brochures, and more are available on our website. To view our website click on the, " Go to Agency/Department this FAQ is sourced by," below.
​County-owned or leased buildings are handled by our County Facilities Branch Office. For details and contact information click on their site link under Related Links below.
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You, the property owner, can write a letter to the Assistant Fire Marshal requesting an overtime plan review.

We do not consider expedited plan review to be a normal part of the process. These requests are approved in cases of hardship to the property owner only. For the details on how to request an overtime review or inspection click on the Related Links  title, What Happens After We Receive Your Submittal. Once on that webpage go to the last (bottom of the page) section titled, "Procedure/Requirements For Overtime Plan Check Or Inspection".

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Unforeseen situations, which cause a hazardous condition to exist or extreme financial hardship may be considered for approval of overtime, however the hardship caused by the delay must be fully explained in writing by the property owner (not the contractor). Simply saying a hardship exists is not adequate.
Some inspections may also need an overtime request, such as outside emergency lighting or Fire Alarm inspections which cannot be done during normal business hours. Although these are not "hardships" they are compelling reasons to inspect these projects outside normal business hours. Again, the justification must be fully explained in your written request.
For overtime request details click on the Related Link below, What Happens After We Receive Your Submittal Channel link.
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​A review by our Land Development Deputy is necessary during the Planning approval process (sometimes during several phases of some projects) to set conditions for development pertaining to fire department access and firefighting water supply. He/she will then review your Building Permit submittals to ensure that these conditions have been met as documented on the Building Permit plans. Our Fire Protection Engineer and/or Construction Deputy will also review your plans and conduct inspections for compliance with the fire and safety provisions of the Building Code and with the Fire Code. We will also review Fire Code Permit submittals, (your separate submittals directly to our office for fire protection systems, etc.), and conduct inspections for fire protection and other systems regulated by the Fire Code.
​You can make an appointment with our Land Development Deputy or simply drop by our public counter on Wednesday or Fridays (except Holidays) from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. We may need some time for file review, so contact us early to avoid delay. NOTE: Please bring an extra set of plans for our files. Click on the Related Link below, Local Fire Authority Review For Public School Construction, for details.
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​Vehicles equipped with commercial kitchen fire suppression systems used for food service at fairs, festivals, school events, etc. are regulated by the Fire Marshal and must show compliance with all codes and regulations. Be prepared to show the Deputy inspecting your event proof of current service and the appropriate fire extinguisher(s) required for the cooking appliances present.
Please note that the Special Event Permit-holder (e.g. the person who applied for the permit) is responsible for ensuring that all vendors at the event comply with the code. Click on the Standards link below to view Standard CFMO-SE2 for details.
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​Yes, if you are erecting a tent over 400 square feet or a canopy (a tent open on all sides) over 700 square feet you will need to submit for a Fire Marshal permit. If you have more than one tent or canopy joined together, we consider them to be one tent/canopy, so if they exceed 200/400 square feet they will need a permit. For details click on Standards link below to view our Standard, CFMO-SE1.
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​Fairs and festivals where large numbers of people will be in attendance, streets will be blocked off, food will be served to the public from festival cooking booths or vehicles, stages or bleachers will be erected, carnivals or haunted structures will be set up, etc. all require a Fire Marshal Permit. NOTE: Contact the County Planning Office at (408) 299-5770 at least 90 days in advance to see whether you will need a permit from their office.
If you are not sure whether you need a Fire Marshal Permit, please contact our office at (408) 299-5763 or stop by and discuss your event with our Land  Development Deputy on a Wednesday or Friday from 8 a.m. to Noon or 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  See our Special Event webpage for our requirements and our Standard CFMO-SE2, by clicking on the Special Event, Tents and Fireworks Channel link below.

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​California State law [REF: Title 19, CCR] requires that any public display of fireworks may only be handled by a State licensed Pyrotechnician, and that the Pyrotechnician obtain a permit from the local jurisdiction.
​County Ordinance Code, Sec. A33-61, prohibits the sale, use, possession or discharge of fireworks, including "Safe & Sane" fireworks anywhere within the unincorporated area of the County of Santa Clara. [Ord. No. NS-300.734, § 1, 10-5-04] Click on the Standards Channel link below to view Code sections.

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​You will need to first contact the Santa Clara County Planning Office, (see Related Links below or call (408) 299-5770), to see if this type of use is allowed or to apply for an Entertainment Permit. If the display is not allowed by the Planning Office, the Fire Marshal can not issue you a permit. If the County Planning Office approves the display, see our Special Events, Tents and Fireworks webpage (see link below) for an application and submittal requirements. NOTE: State law requires that only a State licensed Pyrotechnician may apply for a permit from the Fire Marshal.

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​The Wildland Urban Interface is a geographic area identified by the State as a "Fire Hazard Severity Zone" or other area designated by the enforcing agency (Santa clara County) to be at a significant risk from wildfires. The Board of Supervisors approved a map outlining the Santa Clara County Wildland Urban Interface Fire Area in January of 2008. The map is used to determine where the fire-resistive construction requirements of Chapter 7A of the County Building Code and the vegetation-management requirements in Chapter 47 of the County Fire Code apply.
Our Land Development Deputy can tell you whether your property lies within the Wildland Urban Interface Fire Area. It is important to note that if your property lies within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, the vegetation requirements are more restrictive. See our Wildland Urban Interface webpage for more information by click on the Related Link below.
​"LRA" stands for "Local Response Area", which is unincorporated Santa Clara County land within the Santa Clara County Central Fire District (including those areas served by San Jose Fire Department), the Saratoga Fire District, the Los Altos County Fire District and the South Santa Clara County Fire District. "SRA" stands for "State Response Area", which is CAL FIRE's response area. Essentially you will see no difference in regulations between the two. Together they make up the Santa Clara County Wildland Urban Interface Fire Area map approved by the Board of Supervisors.
​Your area has been declared to have a higher degree of fire hazard by Cal Fire due to degree of slope, aspect (south or west-facing slope), topography, vegetation type and fire history. Because of this you will need to provide 30 feet of vegetation clearance and an additional 70 feet of fuel modification. See our Wildland Urban Interface webpage link below for details.
 Your area has been declared to have a higher degree of fire hazard by Cal Fire due to degree of slope, aspect (south or west-facing slope), topography, vegetation type and fire history. Because of this you will need to provide 30 feet of vegetation clearance and an additional 70 feet of fuel modification. See our Wildland Urban Interface webpage link below for details.
See Chapter 47 of the County Amendments and Wildland Urban Interface webpages for vegetation clearance requirements.
​If your home is the Wildland Urban Interface (yellow area on the WUIFA Map) or Very High Zone, Wildland Urban Interface (Red area on WUIFA Map) you are required to have a Class "A" roof.

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