Northwest Fire District

Code Variance Requests


NWFD Code Variance Request Process

The Fire District recognizes there are times when it is difficult to comply with the letter of the Fire Code. When it has been determined that there are practical difficulties in carrying out the provisions of the current code, the Variance Request allows for a possible deviation from fire code requirements as long as the variance still meets the intent of the Fire Code. The International Fire Code allows the Fire District to grant such requests.


Variance Request Form


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What the Variance Request Process is:

  • A method to approve alternate materials that comply with the intent of the code.
  • A method to approve an alternate method of work performed or operation that complies with the intent of the code, at least equivalent to that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
  • A method to approve ways of carrying out the provisions of the code, provided that the intent of the code shall be complied with, public safety secured and substantial justice done.
  • A system that allows for Variance Approvals by the Fire Marshal. Please note that any alternate material or method is also subject to approval by the building official whenever the variance involves the Building Code.
  • Use of alternate materials or methods may also require third party technical assistance or testing by an agency approved by the District to determine acceptability of the method or materials at no cost to the District.

Documentation for Variance Request

The applicant is responsible for providing the following information to Northwest Fire District (NWFD) Prevention and Safety Division, 5225 W. Massingale Road, Tucson, AZ 85743. For additional information call (520) 887-1010 ext. 5000.

  1. Obtain a Variance Request Form:
    • PDF version of the form is available on the “Forms” box on the right side of this page.
    • Forms may also be picked up at the Northwest Fire District Administration via the Prevention and Safety Division
  2. Form Submittal Package Should Include:
    • Original signed Variance Request for each code subject you are appealing or code for which you are requesting interpretation
    • Site plan (if applicable)
    • Letter explaining the purpose of variance and your proposed solution
    • $341 payment (cash, credit, or check made payable to Northwest Fire District) for review of the request, including research, staff time and possible additional requests for information or meetings with the applicant. The $341.00 payment is non-refundable and does not guarantee the request will be approved.

Please submit the Variance Request Submittal Package to the Northwest Fire District Prevention and Safety Division at NWFD’s Administration building located at:

5225 W. Massingale Rd. Tucson, Arizona 85743-8416

Decision of Fire Marshal

Based upon the Requestor’s proposal and the Fire District’s recommendation, the decision will be one of the following:

  • Approved
  • Approved with Stipulations – Requires further actionby the Requestor; a recheck date is given to allow time for compliance
  • Denied – Please contact the Northwest Fire District (NWFD) Prevention and Safety Division with questions.

Click here for the NWFD Variance Request Form.