Fire Stations

Trench drains are a logical choice for the vehicle bays inside the fire station.  The trench drain allows the floor to remain relatively flat and keep dangerous water from accumulating on the floor.  Point inlets with complex floor slopes can leave floors slick making hazardous conditions for firefighters rushing to prepare for a fire.


Sizing the drain

  • Typically inside the fire station the only flow is from maintaining and cleaning the vehicles.  There is also little or no debris in these applications making a 4" trench drain the most economical and logical choice.
  • Exterior fire station drains need to be sized to capture the storm water coming off of the parking areas.

Choosing the channel

  • For interior applications, the channel type is less critical if the trench is placed in such a way that it will not receive vehicular traffic. The channel size should be based on your hydraulic load, storage capacity, and outlet capacity.  If the trench drain will have vehicular traffic you will need a heavy duty frame on the system even though the traffic is at very slow speeds.  If the drain is centered on the vehicle bays, there is little chance a vehicle can get on the drain and a lighter duty channel, frame, and grate can be selected.
  • Exterior applications need to be looked at like site drains.  Click here to learn more about these applications.
  • A similar material to the concrete encapsulating the channel is always a good idea, however, it is less critical in this application.  Choose polymer concrete, concrete, fiberglass, metal, or HDPE channel material.  If the channel will be exposed to vehicular traffic it is wise to choose one of the stronger materials that can handle the dynamic forces of the trucks braking and turning on top of the drains.
  • If the floor will be sealed with a resinous floor coating (not just a concrete sealer) it is best to seal the channel joints as well.  A flexible sealant or caulking is usually sufficient for these joints.

Selecting the grate

  • Depending on the location of the trenches, they may see vehicular traffic or almost no traffic at all.
  • For trenches that will have vehicular traffic a H-20 rated grate that meets AASHTO 309 standards is recommended.  The speed is slow but the weight of the fire trucks combined with the fact that they are often braking and turning their wheels on these drains warrants a heavy duty grate.  The material here will likely need to be a reinforced steel grate or a ductile iron grate.
  • For trenches that are laid out down the center of the vehicle bays and will not see vehicular traffic you should still choose a medium duty grate that can handle some slow speed vehicular traffic.  The reason for this is that sometimes smaller cars or trucks may get in the bay and cross the drains.

Designing the layout

  • There are two typical layouts for fire stations.  The first and most common is to place the trench drain down the center of the vehicle bays.  The vehicle bays would each get a run that extends to about 10 feet from each door.  The second method is to place one drain at across the entire doors and slope the entire floor to the drain
  • If multiple drains will be required they are usually sloped to either the center or one end, and then piped together into a single header pipe.  Place the location of the outlet so that it is convenient to connecting to an oil water separator (these are almost always required).