Seattle Fire Department
Seattle Fire Department Tent Permit Procedures

 1.      A permit is required from the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) for a tent, canopy or air supported structure in excess of 400 square feet.  

Note:   A tent/canopy open on all sides (roof only) are not required to get a permit issued by the Seattle Fire department if it meets all of the following conditions:  

            a)   Individual maximum size of 700 square feet.

                  b)   Aggregate area of multiple tents placed side by side less than 12 feet apart is 700 square feet or less.

            c)   Minimum of 12 feet clearance between the tent and any structure.


In addition to the above information, tents or air supported structures in excess of 100 square feet erected inside a building equipped with an automatic sprinkler system requires approval from the Seattle Fire Department. 

2.      First you must apply for SFD permit.  Include the following: 

·          Check for the fee made payable to the City of Seattle. (Fee is waived if the tent is being used in conjunction with a paid SFD temporary assembly occupancy permit. See item #3 below.)

·          Plot plan showing the tent and surroundings.

·          Floor plan of interior of tent.

·          Complete SFD permit application.

·          Letter of certification that the tent is flame retardant.

·          Letter of structural stability


Note:        Application with fee must be received at least 30 business days prior to the event in order to avoid a late fee.  Application and/or fee received 3 business days or less prior to the event may not be processed and permit not issued. 

3.  If tents are being used in conjunction with assembly events, an additional permit is required for the assembly. The entity (usually the event organizer) must apply and pay for either an SFD temporary assembly occupancy permit or a City of Seattle Special Events permit.

4.   If there is any food being served and/or prepared using propane (LPG) and open flame (i.e. wood and/or charcoal bar-be-que) then additional SFD and Health Department permits are required.  Generally, propane and open flame cooking is not allowed inside a tent.  

5.   If the tent/air-supported structure is heated and the power source for the heater is anything other than electric an additional SFD permit is required.  Only electric heaters are allowed inside the tent. All other heaters’ fuel source must be on the exterior of the tent.  Generally, in the case of propane heaters the propane must be a minimum10 feet away from the tent and required exit(s). 

6.  The Seattle Fire Department does not issue permits for tents or air-supported structures erected for more than 4 weeks (28 days).  Tents or air-supported structures erected for more than 4 weeks must obtain permits from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI).

Questions?  Please call the Seattle Fire Marshal's Office at 206-386-1450 and ask for the Special Events Division.


Last Modified:   January 03, 2017