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by a high standard of aesthetic care and maintenance.  Truck and pump manufacturer maintain a parts inventory for each model year for a finite time.  After that period, obtaining necessary parts may be difficult.  This parts shortage is particularly acute with fire apparatus due to the narrow market conditions for these devices.

F.U.S.’s lengthy experience in evaluating fire apparatus indicates that apparatus should be designed to an acceptable standard.  We recommend Underwriter’s Laboratories of Canada, (U.L.C.) Standard S515 “Standard for Automobile Fire Fighting Apparatus.”

Fire apparatus should be built by recognized manufacturers.  Fire apparatus should respond to first alarms for the first fifteen years of service.  For the next five years it should be held in reserve for use at major fires or used as a replacement for out-of-service first line apparatus.  Apparatus should be retired from service at twenty years of age.

Present practice indicates that the recommended service periods are usually followed by the first purchaser.  However, at the end of that period the apparatus is either traded in on new apparatus or sold to another fire department.  At this juncture, the unit may have one or more faults which precludes effective use for emergency service.  These deficiencies may include:


inadequate braking system


slow pick-up and acceleration


structurally weakened chassis due to overloading


pump wear

Insurance Grading Recognition of Used or Rebuilt Fire Apparatus F.U.S. has modified its application of the age requirement for used or rebuilt apparatus.  Due to municipal budget constraints they have continued to recognize apparatus over twenty years of age, providing the truck successfully meets the recommended annual tests.

If the apparatus does not pass the recommended tests or experiences long periods of “down time”, F.U.S. may request the municipal authority to replace the equipment with new or newer apparatus.  If replacement occurs, continued fire insurance grading recognition would be ensured.

Fire Underwriters’ Survey is a national organization, financed and directed by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (I.B.C.), a national association representing 80 percent of the private sector property and casualty insurers in Canada.

Recommended Service Tests for Used or Modified Fire Apparatus

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