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Prevention · Fire & Life Safety Inspections

Fire Inspection Process for Nursing Homes:

The OSFM conducts fire inspections in all licensed nursing homes in conjunction with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The Deputy State Fire Marshal (DSFM) does an unannounced survey of the facility with the DSHS survey team using the 2000 Life Safety Code and The Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services (CMS) standards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. How will I know when a fire inspection is due?
A. Fire inspections are unannounced and done in conjunction with the DSHS health surveys

Q. What happens if the DSFM finds violations?
A. If violations are found the DSFM will give the facility administrator a report detailing the problems and a cover letter (see link below) that explains the procedures for writing a plan of correction (POC) and the time lines involved for making the corrections.

Q. What if I need more time than allowed to make a repair or correction?
A. A temporary waiver can be requested to gain more time to finish certain corrections. The process for this is detailed in the cover letter (see link below) as well.

Q. What if I disagree with a citation that the DSFM wrote up?
A.You can request an informal dispute resolution with the Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal. This option is detailed in the cover letter.

Q. If the DSFM cites any concerns when will he/she be back to re-inspect my corrections?
A. Your POC will state dates that you expect that the corrections will be done. The DSFM will return to inspect these corrections shortly after the completion date stated”.

Q. What code does the Fire Marshal use for inspections?
A. The SFMO uses the 2000 Life Safety Code (see Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services link) and the International Fire Code.

Q. What is the Fire Marshal looking for?
A. Please refer to the FLSC records book and FLSC Student handouts link. These include a checklist of basic items that the Fire Marshal will be looking for, as well as forms and instructions and procedures for fire drills, evacuations, defend in place, fire extinguishers, and other very useful information.

For additional information please contact:

Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Dermott Murphy at: or call (360) 596-3906

Mailing Address:
210 11th Avenue Southwest
Olympia, WA 98504-2600


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