Construction Inspections

** New: Customers should now use our new online form for scheduling inspections and review our best practices for online scheduling.**

Latest News

  • Energy Storage System (ESS) Installation Permits. The Seattle Fire Department has pre-implemented provisions of Chapter 12 of the 2021 Fire Code that affect permitting for installation of new energy storage systems. Please see applicant information here.
  • 2021 Seattle Code Adoption. The target effective date for the new construction codes in Seattle, including the Fire Code, is delayed to no sooner than early 2024. The City of Seattle started accepting applications using the 2021 Washington Codes on July 1, 2023, if they are accompanied by a code modification request. If the request relates to a Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections permit, use the SDCI Code Modification form and submit the request to SDCI. If the request is specific to a Seattle Fire Code approval, use the SFD Code Alternate form. If any part of a project is approved under the 2021 codes, all of the project must use the 2021 codes.

  • Fire Alarm and DAS acceptance test forms. A new mandatory pre-test report is now required prior to fire alarm final acceptance and DAS final acceptance in Seattle and many cities in the Puget Sound region. Review information regarding this process in our FAQ. Review information regarding this process in our FAQ. Please note that panel replacement projects do not require the acceptance test form.

Along with Plan Review, construction inspection services ensure buildings under construction and those being remodeled are in compliance with the Seattle Fire Code and that key safety systems such as fire alarms and fire sprinklers are designed correctly and work properly at the time the building is occupied.

Schedule or Cancel an Inspection

Advisory November 2023 **Due to unforeseen staffing challenges we are currently experiencing longer than desired inspection turn-around times. Inspections are currently being scheduled two weeks out. We understand the urgency regarding your projects and are working out best to fulfill inspection requests in a timely manner.**

We will respond to your request in the order it was received and provide an email confirmation with the date/time your inspection has been scheduled. Please allow time for your request to be processed. We will confirm the inspection details as soon as possible. 

Before you schedule your inspection, be sure you meet our inspection pre-requisites and review our best practices for scheduling an inspection.

To schedule an inspection - use our online form for regular or overtime inspections.

To cancel an inspection - Email

  • Subject line: Cancel Inspection
  • Include inspection date, project/building name, time, location and type

Cancel inspections timely to avoid fees. Regular inspections must be cancelled in writing 24 hours prior to the inspection. Overtime inspections must be canceled in writing by 9 a.m. on the business day prior to the inspection. If you do not meet this timeline and fail to appear within 20 minutes of the scheduled inspection time, you will be charged a fee equal to the actual labor costs including applicable administrative overhead.

Questions about Construction Inspections

Please have project managers, architects, GCs and superintendents communicate and provide copies of the legacy Plan Review Letter or the new Seattle Fire Code Requirements Summary Sheet to field technicians. Field technicians should ensure compliance with these documents and any comments on the plan set prior to scheduling inspections with the SFD.

Please ensure the following items are completed prior to the SFD inspector's arrival at the jobsite. If these items are not completed, the responsible party will be charged a failed inspection fee:  

  1. All required equipment and personnel, including those with relevant certification, are on site.
  2. All required pre-tests are completed and paperwork available for inspector.
    * For DAS/BDA, acceptance/commissioning report submitted to SFD using and printed copy available on site for the inspector.
    * For Fire Alarm, acceptance test report submitted to SFD using and printed copy available on site for the inspector (mandatory as of 4/1/2022). Review information regarding this process in our FAQ. Please note that panel replacement projects do not require the acceptance test form. If the system has pressurization/smoke control, an SDCI Smoke Control Acceptance Test form or sign off from a Special Inspector is also required.
  3. Proof of SDCI electrical permit signed off, if applicable.
  4. Proof of SDCI conveyance permit signed off, if applicable.
  5. Stamped/approved set of fire system plans (sprinkler, alarm, etc.) are printed and available for inspector, if applicable.
  6. Sprinkler piping is not covered by drywall or ceiling tiles and is visible for the inspector, if applicable.
  7. Underground sprinkler supply line is not covered and is visible for the inspector, if applicable.

See also additional mandatory PRE-REQUISITES FOR CERTAIN INSPECTION TYPES in the following section.

Additional inspection pre-requisites and information for certain inspections

Here are additional tips to help you pass specific types of inspections: 

  • BDA/DAS (Emergency responder radio communications): Please review our DAS commissioning informationYou must submit the acceptance/commissioning report to SFD using at least 24 hours prior to the inspection during which you want SFD sign off, and have a printed copy of the report at the job site for the inspector, or else a device which can be used to log into The Compliance Engine and show the Acceptance Test to the inspector.
  • Fire alarm: The electrical permit must be signed off by the Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI), and the system must be pretested with a report submitted (at least 24 hours prior to your inspection) to and a printed copy available at the job site for the inspector. The site must be considered "Final Clean," including but not limited to all carpeting, ceiling tile, drywall, doors and relights in place to conduct alarm audibility tests. For low rise buildings with smoke control/pressurization and for high-rise buildings permitted under the 2015 code or earlier with smoke control/pressurization, a copy of the SDCI smoke control acceptance form is also required.  High-rise buildings permitted under the 2018 code or later must use a Special Inspector who will coordinate testing and acceptance. For fire alarm sign off, the fire alarm FA-1 technician will be asked to confirm Central Station Monitoring notification.
  • Fire alarm panel replacements: The electrical permit must be signed off by the Department of Constructions and Inspections (SDCI), and the system must be pretested to meet NFPA 72 Table items 2(a) and (d). The pre-test/acceptance test form is not required to be filled out in www.thecompliance The site must be considered "Final Clean", including but not limited to all carpeting, ceiling tile, drywall, doors and relights in place to conduct alarm audibility tests.
  • Range hoods and suppression/alternative extinguishing systems (not wet/dry sprinkler systems): Before calling for inspection, equipment protected by the hood or suppression system must be on site, installed and operable (gas and power). In addition, before the inspector arrives, ensure there is a placard mounted to the hood specifying equipment that is protected by the hood, from left to right, and provide a mounted K class extinguisher near the hood. Please ensure the following documents are available on site for your inspector when they arrive: as-built drawings, SDCI mechanical permit for Type 1 hoods or SDCI alternative extinguishing system permit for spray booths, halon systems and similar, if applicable. If the suppression system is monitored by the fire alarm system, then you will need technicians with both a fire alarm certification and a rangehood certification present at the time of inspection to test the newly installed system.
  • Sprinkler system inspection prior to cover: You must call for cover inspections prior to installation of drywall or tiles that would interfere with visual access to sprinkler system pipes and heads. Any time a sprinkler head is changed or moved, you must have an inspection. 
    Sprinkler system final: A Contractor's Materials and Test Certificate for Underground Piping and a Contractor's Materials and Test Certificate for Aboveground Piping must be provided to your inspector prior to SFD building final okay, per SFD Administrative Rule 9.03 section 5.6.
  • "Underground" or fire water supply connection to City water main - inspection prior to cover: Underground pipe inspection must occur prior to covering. All tie rodding, etc. must be complete and coated with bituminous or other acceptable corrosion retarding material. Inspection of thrust blocks may occur during or after pouring. Depth and width of the block must be exposed for measurement. See also SFD Administrative Rule 9.03 Table A for additional inspection requirements. May be combined with "underground" flush and/or flow tests in many but not all circumstances, discuss with your inspector.
  • "Underground" or fire water supply connection to City water main - hydrostatic flow test: Underground may be covered if cover inspection has occurred and pressure drops must be within allowable limits. Hydro must occur prior to connection with the building or the City of Seattle. If a city check valve is present, a "frying pan" must be installed. See also SFD Administrative Rule 9.03 Table A for additional inspection requirements. May be combined with "underground" flush and/or flow tests in many but not all circumstances, discuss with your inspector.
  • "Underground" or fire water supply connection to City water main or "Underground" - Underground flush: Inspection must occur prior to connecting with the building system. See also SFD Administrative Rule 9.03 Table A for additional inspection requirements. May be combined with "underground" flush and/or flow tests in many but not all circumstances, discuss with your inspector.

Submit an inspection request form.  All systems that require a functional test must be pretested prior to the inspection being scheduled. Be sure to follow our best practices to help ensure that your request is processed smoothly.

When submitting the form to request an inspection, you will need to provide information about the project, onsite contact name and information, and financially responsible party name and contact information. You will also need: Certification number of the installer/tester who will be present during the test, SDCI plan review number if applicable, and information about SDCI permitting completed (if applicable). Please be sure to provide your estimated duration of time for the inspection. This aids in the scheduling of your Inspection request.

Depends on the availability of inspectors. We are currently scheduling two weeks out. Overtime inspections may be available sooner and there is an additional cost (based on City's labor contract). 

A representative capable of performing the required tests, providing access to inspection areas, and certified by the Seattle Fire Department must be present. This person must:

  • Present their certification card to inspector for verification 
  • Have a copy of the approved plans 
  • Have a copy of the plan review letter

Please email and your message will be forwarded to your assigned inspector.  

Please email your code related question to

Please do not email field inspection problems or scheduling questions to the Plan Review email address. For field inspection questions or scheduling questions please email

Fees for most construction inspections include a repeat inspection at no charge if the system does not pass the first inspection. If your reason for the failed inspection is due to a lack of preparation, the Seattle Municipal Code provides the ability to recover the costs incurred in providing that inspection. The fee is $346 per hour, including time spent by inspectors preparing for the inspection, traveling and at the job site. The fee will be charged whenever an inspection fails to meet the preconditions.

Please email and your message will be forwarded to your assigned inspector for any explanation or clarification that may be necessary. If you have your inspector's mobile number you may also contact your assigned inspector directly.

Fees for construction inspection services are separate and in addition to any SDCI fees.

Construction Inspections Fee
Fire Alarm Systems $756 plus $7.56 per device > 6 devices
Fire Alarm Systems Inspection with more than 6 devices and no new control panel installation or major modification to the system  $380 plus $7.56 per device > 6 devices
Inspection of Integrated Testing for Fire Protection Systems (Available starting mid-2024) $351
Smoke Control – Fire Protection Systems Pre-Inspection (“OK to Test”) (Available starting mid-2024) $351
Fire Extinguishing System - Pre-Engineered or Rangehood  $325
Fire Extinguishing System – Alternative Suppression Systems $325
Fire Sprinkler Systems $457 plus $4.57 per sprinkler head > 6 sprinkler heads
Standpipe $325 plus $17 per landing with PRVs (pressure reducing valves)
Fire Pump $325 per pump
Sprinkler System Supply Main $403
Tenant Improvement (TI) Inspection without modification of fire protection systems, Or TI with six (6) or less sprinkler heads and 6 or less fire alarm devices $289
Emergency Responder Radio System Coverage - Inspection $289
Request for Temporary Certificate of Occupancy recommendation $346 plus time charge* for all related inspections and review
Failed/Missed Inspection Fee $346 per hour (one-hour minimum)
Overtime Inspection Fee $106.71 per hour (may be subject to a 1.5-hour or 4-hour minimum based on labor contracts)

*The time charge shall be equal to actual labor costs including any applicable administrative overhead.

Occupancy and use of the structure are permitted only after approval of SDCI which takes the form of a Certificate of Occupancy. You are in violation if you occupy the premises prior to obtaining this approval. 

In some cases a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy may also be approved prior to the issue of the full Certificate of Occupancy - please see information above. Individuals who are non construction workers are permitted to enter the building prior to the building receiving a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy when permitted by the General Contractor. The General Contractor is responsible to provide safety training to authorized individuals and to ensure they are properly equipped with all personal protection equipment required for the construction site by Washington State Labor & Industry regulations. All such individuals touring the building are required to be escorted by the General Contractor or their designee.

Individuals preparing the building for occupancy do not require an escort when permitted by the General Contractor. In occupancies required to be provided with automatic sprinklers, storage or accumulation of combustible material not associated with building construction is prohibited in the building before the sprinkler system is approved.

The legal owner is responsible for requesting inspections and approvals. If you want your builder to assume this responsibility, this should be specified within your contract. Check your permit and make sure final approval to occupy has been given before moving into the building. Normally, the installing company schedules the inspection appointment for their installation.

  • Inform your SFD New Construction inspector and Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) inspector of your intent to request TCO/phased occupancy
  • Review Administrative Rule 9.07 - Partial/Phased Occupancy, Occupancy During Construction, and Temporary Certificates of Occupancy
  • A MINIMUM of two weeks prior to your desired TCO date, write a TCO request letter and email to the Lieutenant of Engineering:
  • Work with your SFD inspector to ensure your project is on track for TCO
  • Once required inspections are complete and your project is ready, your SFD inspector will notify you that it's ready for TCO walkthrough by the Lieutenant of Engineering
  • Schedule your TCO inspection with our Inspection Request Form.

All fire and life safety systems shall be tested and accepted prior to occupancy.

The SFD does not supply TCO recommendations for tenant improvements (TIs).  Once fire and life safety systems are tested and accepted, the permit is finaled and the inspector notes will indicate testing is complete. The Inspector notes can be used to notify SDCI that SFD has approved the fire and life safety systems for the designated area, and SFD has no objection to SDCI granting occupancy.

SPU requires inspections for water service piping used for fire protection and domestic water. To schedule a SPU inspection for underground cover or backflow assemblies: call (206) 684-5803, between 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.; after 9 a.m., call (206) 684-3333. 

Not all buildings are required to meet radio coverage standards, and where coverage is required, a BDA/DAS is not necessary if the building already has sufficient radio coverage inside without using a BDA/DAS to amplify.  Radio coverage must meet code requirements in all new high-rise buildings and buildings that are larger than 50,000 square feet, or have basements larger than 10,000 square feet, or have floors used for human occupancy more than 30 feet below the finished floor of the lowest level of exit discharge. There are two ways to meet this requirement: (1) demonstrate that the building meets minimum coverage standards for the King County Radio System without the use of amplification systems, or (2) install amplifications systems such as a Bi-Directional Antenna (BDA) or Distributed Antenna System (DAS). Where these buildings pass sufficient radio signals through part of the building, emergency responder radio coverage need only be provided for those areas within the building that do not receive sufficient radio signals. To find more information and required forms, please review our dedicated webpage on BDA/DAS and Client Assistance Memorandum #5123 -  Emergency Responder Public Safety Radio Enhancement Systems.

Fire Department - Fire Prevention Division

Harold Scoggins, Fire Chief
Address: 220 3rd Ave S, 2nd Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: 220 3rd Ave S , Seattle, WA, 98104
Phone: (206) 386-1450
Contact Us

The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) has 33 fire stations located throughout the City. SFD deploys engine companies, ladder companies, and aid and medic units to mitigate loss of life and property resulting from fires, medical emergencies, and other disasters. The Department also has units for ...