On November 19, the San Jose City Council unanimously affirmed its commitment to FARS, requiring the installation of FARS in all new buildings over 75′, any building with two or more stories underground, any tunnel more than 500′ in length and any building where the fire apparatus access point is located more than 150′ from the nearest entrance. In 2004, San Jose became one of the first cities in the country to require FARS in new construction. The development community advocated modifying the original FARS ordinance to allow builders

Originally published in firechief.com – April 2012

Last month I talked about how actions and inactions can create potential liability for the fire service. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There is a corollary to that phrase: If it’s broke when you need it — it doesn’t exist.

That is why we ought to consider maintenance of fire-prevention systems a firefighter safety issue. We can’t just install sprinkler systems and hope for the best. There is a concept called “graceful degradation” that comes

MONITOR YOUR AIR SUPPLY WITH FARS (Originally Published in FireEngineering 9/8/2014)


Imagine fighting fire in a high-rise building without a standpipe system. How much time and personnel would be wasted dragging hose? How many more large-scale tragedies would there have been? The adoption of standpipes in our building codes was a game changer for the fire service. We probably take for granted the progress the fire service has made over the years as these and other fire protection systems have become part of our standard operating procedures.