Seven Trends in New Fire Station Designs

Fire stations are critical infrastructure facilities that also serve as a home away from home for the first responders inside. It is estimated that one-third of a firefighter’s career is spent within the physical walls of a fire station. That is why the design of fire stations is evolving to better promote the physical, mental and emotional health of firefighters.

McCownGordon has extensive experience building new fire stations and here are the seven trends we are seeing:

1. Four-Fold Doors to Increase Response Time and Reduce Chance of Damage

New fire stations are opting for four-fold doors that fold horizontally accordion style, keeping them in the driver’s sight-line at all times. These four-fold doors open much quicker than the traditional garage door – reducing the overall emergency response time.

2. Safety Zones

To mitigate carcinogen exposure, we are seeing fire stations implement a separate zone for soiled gear that is positioned away from their sleeping quarters. This area is typically equipped with a boot wash station.

There are also HVAC systems and vestibules that can be put into place to establish clear boundaries between the polluted and uncontaminated areas.

3. Separate Facilities for Men and Women

To create comfortable working and living conditions within fire stations, we are seeing separate changing areas and bunk rooms for men and women.

4. Versatile Spaces

Bonus rooms such as conference spaces and living rooms are being added into design to give the fire fighters space to gather in various capacities.

5. Natural Light

Exposure to natural light improves mood and increases overall happiness. We are seeing garage doors being incorporated into workout spaces to bring the outdoors inside, and the incorporation of natural light in highly-trafficked areas such as the kitchen, day room and apparatus area.

6. Low-Maintenance Materials

First responders don’t have time to spare dealing with unnecessary messes. Polished concrete flooring in the kitchen is popular due to its ease of cleaning and durability. Alternative building materials are also being used on walls to prevent equipment-induced scratches.

7. Enhanced Acoustics

Implementing acoustic panels in the apparatus bay eliminates echoes and improves the clarity of emergency calls.

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