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Sytems Testing and Reporting Overview

FMOInspectionNew Systems Testing (Confidence Testing) Reporting Program July 1, 2017

July 1, 2017, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) will implement a systems testing oversight program or "confidence testing" reporting program. 

Please see the letter to building owners and managers from Seattle Fire Chief Harold D. Scoggins.

Please see the letter to service providers from Fire Marshal Charles Cordova.

Review a Summary of the Systems Testing Reporting Program.

Review FAQ's for building owners and managers.

Review FAQ's for service providers.

The Seattle Fire Code requires building owners to maintain their building's fire protection systems in good working condition at all times, and to ensure that these systems are tested on a regular basis.  When testing reveals that a system is impaired, the Seattle Fire Department must be notified.

Testing Fire Protection Systems

Building owners are expected to schedule all required semi-annual, annual and five-year confidence tests without notification from the Seattle Fire Department. For more information on tests and testing frequency, see the Testing Schedule and Information page.

After the system is tested, a status tag or label should be attached by the technician.  More information about tagging is available in Administrative Rule 09.02.

Systems Testing and Reporting Overview

Testing Schedule and Information

Impaired Systems Notification and Mitigation

Systems Testing CAM

Report of Impaired System Form

Systems Testing Forms

Fire Safety Companies
with Seattle Fire Department Certified Technicians

Any time a deficiency impairs the system the responsible party is expected to have the damaged, failed or defective part repaired or replaced in a timely manner.  Other deficiencies must be scheduled for repair in a timely manner.

Notifying SFD of Impaired Systems

If a planned or emergency impairment is anticipated to take a system out of service for more than eight hours, the Seattle Fire Department must be notified.  This notification allows the Department to assess the risks and make any operational decisions necessary to ensure response-readiness and the safety of building occupants and firefighters.

For timelines and information on how to notify the Seattle Fire Department of impairments lasting more than eight hours, please review the Notification and Mitigation information page. You may also refer to Administrative Rule 09.04 or call the Fire Marshal's Office at (206) 386-1450.

Mitigation measures are often required when a fire protection system is impaired.  For more information please review the Notification and Mitigation information page.

Termination or Interruption of Monitoring Services

Termination and other interruptions of monitoring service are non-critical deficiencies which do not affect the performance of the fire protection system.  Fire protection systems are intended to detect a fire, activate an alarm, extinguish or control a fire, control or manage smoke and products of a fire or any combination thereof. Termination or other interruptions of monitoring service should not prevent a fire protection system from functioning when required and as such are not subject to the impairment reporting procedures outlined in Administrative Rule 9.04.

What to Do When There is an Interruption to Monitoring Services

  • It is the responsibility of alarm monitoring company to notify the building owner of interruptions.
  • It is the building owner’s responsibility to correct the deficiency in a reasonable time period so that the system can be properly inspected, tested, and maintained.
  • If you wish to take the optional step of notifying SFD of interruptions to monitoring services, you may send email to  However, please do not submit a Report of Impaired System.

What to Do When Monitoring Services are Terminated

  • Termination of monitoring service only applies when monitoring contracts expire or are canceled. 
  • The recently adopted 2012 Seattle Fire Code requires the monitoring service provider to notify the fire code official in writing whenever alarm monitoring services are terminated for fire alarm systems required to be monitored by the code.  Send email to  However, please do not submit a Report of Impaired System.
  • While a fire watch is not required where fire alarm systems are not monitored by a supervising station, the fire code requires the building owner to install permanent signs adjacent to each manual fire alarm box that read:  WHEN ALARM SOUNDS—CALL FIRE DEPARTMENT to notify the occupants of the building to report any fire alarm signals or unwanted fires to the Seattle Fire Department immediately by calling 9-1-1.

For questions, please call the Engineering Captain at 386-1449.

Certified Technicians

Only certified technicians are allowed to install, maintain, test and repair fire protection systems within the City of Seattle.  A certified technician possesses a certificate issued by the Seattle Fire Department.  Certification is obtained by passing a written test administered by Seattle Fire Department.

A list of companies with Seattle Fire Department Certified Technicians is available.  Contact information for these companies can be found in the phone book or online.


To contact the Seattle Fire Department regarding systems testing and impairment reporting, please call the Fire Marshal's Office Engineering Captain at (206)386-1449.



Last Modified:   October 06, 2017

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