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Fire & Life Safety Inspections

The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) has statutory authority to conduct fire and life safety inspections in childcare facilities, health care and residential care facilities that are applying for a new license or renewal of an existing license through the Department of Early Learning (DEL), Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) or Department of Health (DOH).  All licensed care facilities may also request a fire and life safety class on how to comply with maintenance requirements and administrators may receive continuing education credits.

  • Licensed Facility Inspections

    Inspection schedules, codes and standards that apply vary based on the license type.

    Childcare Facilities
    • Orientations/Consultations: DEL provides an orientation where regulatory and licensing information is provided on licensing of childcare centers. DEL may invite the SFMO to these consultations/orientations.
    • Inspection Information: These inspections are completed upon request from the DEL for new licenses, changes to an existing license or when DEL feels there has been a critical change or safety concern of childcare facilities. DEL will not issue a license without an approved fire inspection from the SFMO.
    • Required Documents for Inspection: A certificate of occupancy or letter from the local authority having jurisdiction designating the space with appropriate use and legible floor plan.
    • Inspections: Childcares will be inspected to the state adopted International Fire Codes. Once request documents have been received from DEL an inspection will be scheduled unless the inspection is for a critical assessment then the inspection will be unannounced. An inspection document will be provided for both the initial and follow-up if a follow-up is required. If there is an appeal of the violations WAC 212-12 outlines this process.

    Healthcare Facilities
    • Inspection Information: These inspections are completed in coordination with the DSHS or DOH survey teams. The facilities that fall into this category are Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, End Stage Renal Dialysis and Hospice Care Facilities.
    • Inspections: Healthcare facilities are inspected to the 2012 Life Safety and Health Care Codes. The Nursing Homes are inspected on average annually, the Hospitals every 18 months and the Ambulatory Surgical Centers are inspected per request of DOH. All Inspections are unannounced.
    • Plan of Correction (POC): A POC is prepared by the facility to address code citations received.
    • Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR): IDRs are used when a facility would like to informally challenge a code citation. Unless you become entitled to a federal administrative hearing following imposition of a federal remedy, this is the only opportunity to challenge the Life Safety Code deficiencies described on the enclosed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Form 2567L.

    To request an informal dispute resolution meeting (IDR), please send your written requests to the SFMO and a courtesy copy to DSHS:

    Washington State Patrol
    State Fire Marshal’s Office
    Attention: CDSFM
    PO Box 42642
    Olympia, WA 98504-2642

    Department of Social and Health Services
    Residential Care Services
    Attention: Nursing Home IDR Program
    PO Box 45600
    Olympia, WA 98504-5600

    If you request an IDR, you must still submit a POC within the time limits described above.

    The written request should:

    • Identify the specific deficiencies that are disputed;
    • Explain why you are disputing the deficiencies;
    • Indicate the type of dispute resolution process you prefer (face-to-face, telephone conference, or documentation review);
    • Specify if an alternate Field Manager is preferred;
    • Include a copy of the CMS 2567L;
    • Be sent during the same 10 calendar days you have for submitting a POC for the cited deficiencies; and
    • Include a copy of the LSC survey CMS form 2567L.

    During the informal process you have the right to present written and/or oral evidence refuting the deficiencies. An incomplete review and dispute resolution process will not delay the effective date of any enforcement action.

    Residential Care Facilities
    • Inspection Information: These inspections are completed upon initial licensing, complaint or on an annual basis for Assisted Living Facilities, Group Homes, and Residential Treatment Facilities. Residential care facilities are inspected annually except for group homes which are inspected every three years.
    • Inspections: Residential care facilities are inspected to the state adopted International Fire Codes. Inspection documents are provided to the facilities upon completion of inspection. If a follow-up inspection is needed to correct violations, these are normally completed approximately 30 days later unless an extension is requested. Once a facility has an approved inspection the licensing authority either DSHS or DOH will be notified of the approved inspection. If there is an appeal of the violations WAC 212-12 outlines this process.
    • Right of Appeals for State Cited Facilities:

    Step 1: Administrative appeal – A facility will have an opportunity to dispute cited deficiencies with a chief deputy state fire marshal. The purpose of this informal process is to give the facility an opportunity to refute cited deficiencies after an inspection. A written request with an explanation of the specific deficiencies that are being disputed shall be submitted within ten days of receipt of the correction notice. All submittals shall be sent to:

    Washington State Patrol
    State Fire Marshal’s Office
    Attention: CDSFM
    P.O. Box 42642
    Olympia, WA 98504-2642.

    If a facility is successful in demonstrating that a deficiency should not have been cited, the chief deputy state fire marshal will remove or make the appropriate corrections to the citation. If a facility is unsuccessful in demonstrating that a deficiency should not have been cited, the facility will be notified in writing that the citation will remain unchanged. The facility will then have the option to proceed to step #2 in the administrative appeal process.

    Step 2: Administrative appeal – If a facility is not satisfied with the decision made during the administrative appeal (step 1), they may appeal the decision in writing within seven days of receipt of the written decision to the prevention division assistant state fire marshal. If a facility is successful in demonstrating that a deficiency should not have been cited, the assistant state fire marshal will remove or make the appropriate corrections to the citation. If a facility is unsuccessful in demonstrating that a deficiency should not have been cited, the facility will be notified in writing that the citation will remain unchanged. The facility will then have the option to proceed to step #3 in the administrative appeal process.

    Step 3: Administrative appeal – If a facility is not satisfied with the decision made during the administrative appeal (step 2), they may appeal the decision in writing within seven days of receipt of the written decision to the director of fire protection. If a facility is successful in demonstrating that a deficiency should not have been cited, the director of fire protection will remove or make the appropriate corrections to the citation. If a facility is unsuccessful in demonstrating that a deficiency should not have been cited, the facility will be notified in writing that the citation will remain unchanged.

    Step 4: This is a final agency action.

  • Fire & Life Safety Training

    These classes can be sponsored at your facility or by the state office at an offsite location. Classes can also be provided after or during an inspection.

    Fire Safety for Licensed Care Facilities Class (3 Hour Class): Is provided at no charge to state licensed facilities by the SFMO. The DSHS has approved and accredited this training program for 3 continuing education (3 CEs/CE123998) credits that can used to meet a long term care worker’s CE requirements. Class instruction includes lessons on fire protection features of buildings, fire prevention and code deficiencies, emergency management, fire drills and evacuation.

    Special Focus Class: A special focus is a 20-30 minute class that can be on any number of topics. Current topics include: Facility Maintenance Staff Document Review; Fire Drills; Disaster Preparation; and Fire Extinguisher Training.

    Benefits of Class
    After taking the Fire Safety for Licensed Care Facilities class, facilities have shown a 53% decrease in violations:
    • Learn skills to improve the outcome of your next Fire and Life Safety inspection.
    • Enhance safety for residents, staff and visitors.
    • Participants receive three CE contact hours.
    • Facilities receive free materials to help establish a training program and policies.

    How-To Schedule
    To schedule a class, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3906 or (360) 596-3911, or by e-mailing Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Dermott.Murphy@wsp.wa.gov or Barbara.McMullen@wsp.wa.gov.

 Fire Safe Cigarettes

  • Licensing

    The Licensing Section administers the Fire Standard Compliant Cigarette Program.  This program requires that all cigarette brands sold, or offered for sale to any person located in the State of Washington meet the reduced ignition propensity requirements.

    This is achieved by requiring cigarette manufacturers to certify that cigarettes manufactured for sale within Washington State are tested.  Only those cigarettes that are compliant to the ignition propensity standards testing and marking of packages can be sold.  Packaging of compliant cigarettes is readily identifiable with the letters “FSC” near the barcode.

    Click here to download the FSC Application.

    Applications with accompanying required documentation may be mailed to:

    Fire Protection Bureau – Fire Safe Cigarettes
    PO Box 42642
    Olympia, WA 98504-2642

  • Renewal Requirements

    The certification of a cigarette variety is valid for three years from the date of receipt by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, or any time a change is made to the cigarette that is likely to alter its compliance with the reduced ignition propensity required by RCW 19.305.

    Companies receiving violations of chapters 19.305 RCW will be provided written notification of assessed violation(s) and detailed explanation of their due process to hearings and appeals.

 Fire Sprinklers

Any contractor offering to design, installation, testing, and/or maintenance of fire sprinkler systems in Washington must be licensed with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Licensing Section.  Each level of license requires at least one person who is a Certificate of Competency Holder.

  • Levels of Licensing

    Any contractor licensed to design and install water-based fire protection sprinkler systems must also employ a full-time Certificate of Competency (COC) holder, who holds the same level of certification as the contractor’s licensing level.  The following explains each level of licensing:

    LEVEL 1: A level I Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor and their design Certificate of Competency Holder are allowed to do work on the installation and design of sprinkler systems falling under the purview of the National Fire Protection Association [NFPA] 3 – D. This level of design requires either certification by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies [N.I.C.E.T.] of at least level 2 in Automatic Sprinkler Design Layout or can be tested by the state. Click here to learn how to certify in this level

    LEVEL 2: A level II Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor and their design Certificate of Competency Holder are allowed to do work on the installation and design of sprinkler systems falling under the purview of NFPA 13 – D and 13 – R. This level of design requires either certification by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies [N.I.C.E.T.] of at least level 2 in Automatic Sprinkler Design Layout or can be tested by the state. Click Here to learn how to certify in this level.

    LEVEL 3: A level III Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor and their design Certificate of Competency Holder are allowed to do work on the installation and design of sprinkler systems falling under the purview of NFPA 13 – D, 13 – R, 13 and/or 24. This level of design requires the Certificate of Competency Holder to have at least an N.I.C.E.T. level 3 certification in Automatic Sprinkler Design Layout. Click Here to learn how to certify in this level.

    LEVEL U: A level U Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor and their Certificate of Competency Holder are allowed to do work on only the underground installation of the dedicated fire protection sprinkler system supply main falling under the purview of NFPA 24. To qualify for this level, you will need to take the certification examination offered by this office. Please contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3914 for more information. Click here to learn how to certify in this level.

    LEVEL IT & T: A level I & T Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor is not required to have a design professional on staff certified by this office and are allowed to contract for the inspection and testing work of a wet and dry pipe fire protection sprinkler system under the purview of NFPA 25. Each and every individual who physically performs such inspection and testing work must be certified by this office as competent.

    There are two means available to qualify for the Inspection and Testing Technician. WAC 212-80-175 explains the rules and processes. You will need to either provide to this office level II certification from N.I.C.E.T. in Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems or have successfully passed 32 elements identified as necessary to perform this work. Those elements are detailed on the Inspection and Testing Technician web page. Click here to learn how to certify in this level.

  • Levels of Certification


    Each level of certification can only perform work based upon their employer’s level of licensing. The following explains each level of certification:

    Sprinkler Fitter Certifications – A Sprinkler Fitter Certification is required for anyone installing, altering, and repairing a fire sprinkler system. There are three levels of certification:

    • JOURNEY – Requires 8,000 hours of experience of fire protection sprinkler fitting and passing of written exam.

    • RESIDENTIAL – Requires 4,000 hours of experience of fire protection sprinkler fitting in residential structures and passing of written exam.

    • TRAINEE – Required by anyone engaged in the trade of fire protection sprinkler fitting who does not have a Journey or Residential Sprinkler Fitter Certificate.

    Professional Engineer (PE) – Designs water-based fire protection sprinkler systems for all dwellings and commercial or high occupancy facilities. Professional Engineer licensing is achieved through the Washington State Department of Licensing.

  • Fire Sprinkler Training

    For a list of all NFPA classes and seminars currently available, please download the 2017 Fire Sprinkler Training Courses packet from our Forms & Publications Bank located on the State Fire Marshal’s home page. All schedule, course information, and registration form(s) are provided within the packet.

  • Rules & Laws

    The licensing program for the Fire Sprinkler Contractors and Fire Sprinkler Certificate of Competency Holder certification is administered by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, under:

    Revised Code of Washington RCW Chapter 18.160 and Chapter 18.270
    Washington Administrative Code WAC Chapter 212-80

    Companies and individuals receiving civil penalties and violations of chapters 18.160 and 18.270 RCW and/or 212-80 WAC will be provided written notification of assessed violation(s) and detailed explanation of their due process to hearings and appeals.

Fireworks

Our mission is to enact and enforce rules as necessary to ensure a minimum statewide standard of safety concerning the sale, manufacture, import, use, storage, discharge, and display of fireworks in Washington State.

  • Fireworks Licensing Levels

    All persons or companies must obtain the appropriate license to: (1) engage in the business of importing, wholesaling, or importing fireworks to be sold or used in this state; or (2) supervise or conduct public fireworks displays. Applications must be accompanied by the appropriate fee and all documents and information required, pursuant to RCW 70.77.

    • General Display License – A person or organization desiring a General Public Display License must obtain it from the State Fire Marshal’s Office. This license will allow the holder to perform public displays throughout the year.

    • Importer, Wholesalers & Manufacturer License – A company or organization desiring a Wholesalers, Importers, and/or Manufacturers License must submit their application for these licenses to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The deadline for submission is January 31 of the year the company or organization wishes to be licensed. These individual licenses will allow the holder/company to sell fireworks at wholesale, bring fireworks into the state of Washington, or manufacture fireworks.

    • Pyrotechnic Operator License – A person desiring a pyrotechnic Operators License must apply to the State Fire Marshal’s Office. This license will permit the holder to perform public displays throughout the year under the employ of a General Display Licensee.

    • Retail Stand License – A person or organization desiring a Fireworks Stand License must first obtain a license from the State Fire Marshal’s Office. This license must accompany the individual when they wish to apply for a local fireworks stand. The State Fire Marshal’s Office provides the license in accordance with state laws while the local jurisdictions can (and may have) additional rules which must be complied with when obtaining a permit.

  • Public Fireworks Display Reporting

    Each public fireworks display shot in Washington State requires the completion and submission of a Public Fireworks Display Report to the SFMO within 10 days of the date of the display.

    Completed reports may be reported electronically, by fax, or by mail to:

    Fire Protection Bureau – Licensing Section
    PO Box 42642
    Olympia, WA 98504-2642
    Fax: (360) 596-3934
    Email: fireworks@wsp.wa.gov

  • Statutes & Rules

    The Fireworks Licensing program is administered by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, under:

    Revised Code of Washington – RCW 70.77
    Washington Administrative Code – [WAC] Chapter 212-17

    Companies and individuals receiving civil penalties and violations of chapters 70.77 RCW and/or 212-17 WAC will be provided written notification of assessed violation(s) and detailed explanation of their due process to hearings and appeals.

Plan Review 

The SFMO provides plan review and inspection services of state funded public school construction projects.  The SFMO only provides these services when a local jurisdiction does not have access locally – typically rural communities that do not have a lot of construction projects, or upon request.  All plan review projects for fire and life safety are in accordance with the state adopted International Codes.

  • Plan Review Program

    The Plan Review Program assists and collaborates with the local fire jurisdictions in performing the following:

    • Pre-construction meetings with school project managers, architects, general contractors, and others;
    • Plan reviews and site inspections of newly constructed public schools; and
    • Plan review of Fire Protection Systems; including fire sprinkler, fire alarm, and kitchen hood systems.

  • Inspection Contracts

    The SFMO will provide these services contractually to any and all local jurisdictions that may not have the time, availability, or perhaps the resources to provide these functions.

    To request information regarding these services, contact Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Barbara McMullen at (360)596-3911 or by email at Barbara.McMullen@wsp.wa.gov.

  • Fire Safety Training

    Full 3 Hour Class: The Fire Safety for Licensed Care Facilities class is provided at no charge to nursing homes and assisted living facilities by the State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO). The Department of Social and Health Service (CE123998) has approved this training for 3 continuing education (3 CEs) credits that can used to meet a long term care worker’s CE requirements. Class instruction includes lessons on fire protection features of buildings, fire prevention and code deficiencies, emergency management, fire drills and evacuation.

    Special Focus Class: A special focus is a 20-30 minute class that can be on any number of topics. Current topics include: Facility Maintenance Staff Document Review; Fire Drills; Disaster Preparation; and Fire Extinguisher Training.

    A class can be sponsored at your facility or by the state office at an offsite location.

    Benefits of Class
    After taking the Fire Safety for Licensed Care Facilities class, facilities have shown a 53% decrease in violations:
    • Learn skills to improve the outcome of your next Life Safety Survey.
    • Enhance safety for residents, staff and visitors.
    • Participants receive three CEU contact hours.
    • Facilities receive free materials to help establish a training program and policies.

    Class Materials:
    • Facility Record Book
    • Instructor Guide
    • Student Handouts

    How-To Schedule: To schedule a class, contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (360) 596-3906 or (360) 596-3911, or by e-mailing Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Dermott.Murphy@WSP.wa.gov or Barbara.McMullen@WSP.wa.gov.

  • Standards & Laws

    Assisted Living and Residential Treatment Facilities & Adult family Homes and Child Care Residential care facilities are inspected to the state adopted International Codes, all applicable state amendments, and to the Washington Administrative Code WAC 212-12-020.