Permits

The Seattle Fire Code identifies operations, activities and materials that require a permit. Permits must be obtained for special events, public assembly occupancies, storage or use of hazardous materials, hazardous operations such as hot work and spray finishing, storage of high-piled combustible materials and a wide variety of other activities where a fire or life safety hazard may exist. Find out if your specific activity, material, or operation needs a permit.

COVID-19 Permit Resources and Updates

Fire Marshal's Service Adjustments Summary

Payments must be made at the time of application. Download application forms and email to permits@seattle.gov then pay with a credit card online. Or mail the completed applications along with your check made out to "Seattle Fire Department" to:

Seattle Fire Department
Fire Prevention Division - Permits
220 Third Avenue South, 2nd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104-2608

Temporary permits are issued for a wide variety of activities and operations that are conducted for a period not exceeding 6 months.  These can include activities such as the erection of tents and canopies, food booths at fairs and festivals, hot work on marine vessels, helicopter lifts of heavy equipment, and construction site activities.

Annual permits are issued for places of assembly, hazardous activities, or operations conducted on an ongoing basis at either a fixed location or at a variety of locations throughout the city.  At least 30 days prior to the permit expiration date you will be invoiced for the annual renewal fee to ensure that the permit does not lapse.

See a list of all permits here.

Fees

Fees for permits are charged to recover the costs associated with providing fire prevention inspections, services and permitting activities. Late fees may be charged for special events and annual permit renewals. For the full 2019 fee schedule, please visit the permit fee section in the Seattle Municipal code.  

Fees for specific permits can be found here.

Refunds

To request a permit fee refund, review the policy requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Permit applications are available online.

You may also call (206) 386-1450 or email permits@seattle.gov to request an application by mail or email.

Yes. Payment can be made using a Visa or MasterCard on our website here: https://web7.seattle.gov/sfd/permits/

Or you may call us and we will process your credit card transaction for you. 

The application and payment information are entered in the permit database and a receipt is generated and sent to you.

Post the receipt: You will need to post the receipt at the jobsite, until an inspection has been conducted, and the permit has been approved and issued.

Review the standard conditions attached to your receipt: We will include standard permit conditions for the permit(s) you have paid for. You should review them and become familiar with safe operating conditions. Please note that when we issue you the final permit, it will include final conditions for your site that may include site specific items that are not part of the standard conditions attached to your payment receipt.  

Call for inspections for the following permit types: The following permits require you to contact us to schedule an inspection at least one (1) business day prior to the requested inspection time:

1074 Temporary Flammable/Combustible Liquide at Construction Sites
2701-T Hazardous Material Stabilization
4913 Temporary Land-Based Hot Work
4915 Temporary Marine Hot Work
7901-T Temporary Roofing
7908 Commericial Tank Decommissioning
8202 Construction - Temporary LPG/Propane at Construction Site

To schedule an inspection, email permits@seattle.gov or call (206) 386-1450, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Once your field inspection has been completed, the permit will be issued on site. 

Annual permits: An SFD inspector will contact you to schedule an appointment to review the jobsite. Your permit will be mailed after your application has been approved and any additional fees have been paid. Additional fees are generally only required for permits where the application fee is a "worksheet fee" and not the full or flat fee - this is made clear on the application. Exception: contact us directly for next steps with permit code 7900 for trucks.

Note: Activities and operations that require temporary permits are not allowed to be conducted prior to inspection, approval, and issuance of the permit by a Seattle Fire Department inspector.

If you have a valid annual permit for roofing operations, land-based hot work or marine vessel refueling, you are required to obtain a validation number prior to conducting that operation at each jobsite (or vessel) throughout Seattle. Validation numbers are issued for jobs that will not last longer than 20 days at any one location. If the job is substantial enough to last longer than 20 days, or you are conducting a roofing operation within the boundaries of the downtown fire district, a validation number will not be issued and you will need to obtain a temporary permit for the site.

Validation numbers are obtained by calling (206) 386-1450, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When you call have ready and available specific information about the job and jobsite for which the validation number is being requested and information about your annual permit.

Failure to obtain a required validation number may result in a stop work order of not less than 24 hours and legal action may be initiated.

Temporary permits cannot be renewed after the expiration date on the permit. A new temporary permit and inspection must be obtained.

Extensions are occasionally granted. To request an extension, you must contact the Special Hazards Unit Lieutenant by email at SFD_FMO_SpecialHazards@seattle.gov or call (206) 386-1450, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The fire department sends written notification and invoice at least 30 days before the permit expires. To renew the permit, return the invoice with payment. We will mail you the renewed permit for you to post at your job site.

The fire department will send a late notice/invoice if a renewal payment is not received within 30 days after the permit expires. You have an additional 90 days past the permit's expiration date to renew the permit before it is canceled for non-payment. You may reinstate the permit up to 180 days after the  cancellation date. Late fees apply.

Once more than 180 days have passed after a permit has expired, a new application is required, and you must begin the application and inspection process again. Late fees will still apply, and you will be subject to new permit conditions according to the current Fire Code.  

Late fees are intended to discourage permit holders from allowing their permits to expire, or for special events, to ensure applications are received with enough time prior to the event to allow for appropriate safety review.

No. Permits are not transferable to any operation address other than the one for which they were issued.

No. Your permits are not transferable to the new owner of the business. You need to email permits@seattle.gov or call (206) 386-1450 and inform us that you have sold your business. We will cancel all existing permits immediately and send applications for new permits to the new owner.

If you are the new owner of an existing business, call please email us at permits@seattle.gov or (206) 386-1450. Permits are not transferable when there is new ownership of a business. We must cancel all existing permits issued to the previous owner and forward applications for new permits to you.

If you have determined that an existing permit is no longer required and you wish to cancel the permit, please email us at permits@seattle.gov or call (206) 386-1450. If we verify the activity or operation does not require a permit, we will take steps to immediately cancel the permit.

We do not have records of the location of underground heating oil tanks, because a permit is not required to install underground heating oil tanks.  We only have records for the removal or decommissioning of an oil tank at your address conducted under a permit after 1997 for residential properties and after 1984 for commercial properties. Before those years a permit was not required to remove or decommission an underground tank.

Residential Underground Storage Tank Records can now be found online. You can request records of oil tank removal or decommissioning by submitting a public records request

The My Permit Required Confined Space Entry Program applies to any individual, group of individuals, contractor or employer that makes entry into permit required confined spaces inside the City of Seattle.  We provide confined space user information for this program.

Yes. We have policies governing permit fee refunds. The intent of the policies is to ensure fairness and consistency. If you would like to request a refund, please call (206) 386-1450 or email permits@seattle.gov. If you have a temporary tent permit or an LPG/heater permit related to moving your business/service outside due to public health restrictions on indoor use, please contact permits@seattle.gov for refund options as well.

Medical gas, laboratories, spray finishing and hazardous materials require a hazardous material inventory statement (HMIS) along with the application. Additional information:

The 2018 Fire Code allows "on demand mobile fueling" - a newer service where cars are refueled at their parking location. Permits for this service are required including: an "operator" permit for the company offering the service, a "vehicle" permit for each truck dispensing gas and a "site" permit for locations where mobile fueling is allowed to occur. Beginning later this year, we expect the 2018 Fire Code to be modified to allow fire departments to accept "operator" and "truck" permits issued by other Washington state fire departments who meet the code standards, instead of issuing their own permit. To make it easier for other fire departments to accept the Seattle permits in the future, we are providing our permit conditions and a list of current permit holders, below. Note: mobile fueling is not allowed anywhere except in locations with a current site permit.

Most temporary permits and some annual permits require you to call and schedule an inspection at least 24 hours prior to the requested inspection time. To schedule an inspection, call (206) 386-1450, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Note: Activities and operations that require temporary permits are not allowed to be conducted prior to inspection, approval and issuance of the permit by a Seattle Fire Department inspector.

Applications for new annual assembly occupancy permits must include a copy of a certificate of occupancy issued by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) when submitted.

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