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2009 Nightclub Fire Sprinklers Requirements

The 2007 Washington State Legislature changed the definition of nightclubs requiring retroactive installation of fire sprinklers,and extended the deadline for compliance to December 1, 2009.

Under the new law, the requirement to install fire sprinklers will apply to nightclubs, restaurants, taverns and bars in which 'the aggregate area of concentrated use space that is specifically designated and primarily used for dancing or viewing performers exceeds three hundred fifty square feet (350 Sq Ft), excluding adjacent lobby areas.' This can be a major cost to your business if it is required and not already in place, so be certain you consult with the Fire Department to determine the status of your location.

To find out whether your business is subject to the nightclub sprinkler requirement, contact the Seattle Fire Marshal's Office at 206-386-1450 or visit their website at http://www.seattle.gov/fire/FMO/firecode/nightclubSprinklers.htm. If your establishment is required to upgrade and install fire sprinklers, and you do not already have a fire service connection to your property, the process will go something like this:
  • SPU recommends that Nightclubs apply for permits by June 1, 2009 in order to have all renovations complete by the December 1st deadline.


  • You apply for and obtain a Water Availability Certificate (WAC), which is your approval to order water service from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU);


  • You work with a contractor and submit your sprinkler plans to DPD for review and approval by SFD;


  • You work with a contractor and submit your site plan to SPU (customer plans must have the approval of SPU Engineering, which is coordinated by SPU customer service);


  • Once plans are approved, you submit a "Water Service Application and Agreement" to SPU and pay for a percentage of services up front;


  • SPU installs services from the water main to the property line;
  • You coordinate with your contractor and SPU to make connections to the new services at the property line. You are also responsible for all on property plumbing, including the sprinkler system itself.
For personalized assistance, guidance through the process and cost estimates for SPU fire service connection, contact SPU Customer Service at (206) 684-5806.

Obtain or Upgrade Water Service

If you plan to install a new water service or upgrade an existing water service, you will need to:
  1. Request a Water Availability Certificate (WAC)

  2. This should take nno more than ten days, at no cost to the customer.

    - Inside Seattle, contact: DPD, 700 5th Ave Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019 For questions call (206) 684-8850

    - Outside Seattle, contact: SPU, 700 5th Ave Suite 2777, P.O. Box 34027, Seattle, WA 98124-4027 For questions call (206) 684-5800

  3. Customer Submits Plans
  4. Obtain SPU Engineering plan approval.
    This process can take as little as a few day's once the plan has been submitted.

  5. Street Restoration Cost (Bid)

  6. After we know exactly what work the customer is requesting a crew is sent to evaluate the costs for street restorations based on SDOT director's rules. Approximately three days to receive a bid from crews.

  7. Apply for water service
  8. Pay for Services
    Current Standard Charges for the service requested and permitting plus the street restoration bid determined in step 3.
  9. Install water mains

  10. All steps must be completed prior to sending marching orders to crews, which in turn starts a forty day clock.

    For more information on these steps, please see the related links below.

    Related Links
    Obtain Utility Services
    Contact Commercial Customer Representatives