Systems Testing

Coming Soon! Preview 2019 reporting and fee changes for SFD systems testing and BDA/DAS 

Fire and life safety systems, such as fire alarms and sprinklers, are among the most important components in any building type for preserving lives, protecting property, and providing safety to first responders.

You are required to maintain these systems in good working condition and have them tested, usually on an annual basis.

The Fire Department must receive copies of these reports.

There are also secondary tests and certain maintenance processes that must be performed periodically even though you do not need to submit reports. The testing company you hire should be able to provide more information about these tests.

You and your testing company must follow additional reporting requirements when testing reveals a system is impaired.

System test reports for many systems are mandatory and must be submitted electronically to the Seattle Fire Department via our online vendor at

Reports must be submitted within one week of the inspection or maintenance completion. Systems with impairments or red-tagged systems must also be reported immediately using the current mandatory impaired systems reporting process.

There is a $30 filing fee associated with the submission of each report, per system, per year, except for hood systems which is per every six-month service. Your service provider (the company you hire to do the testing and maintenance on your building's fire protection systems) is responsible for collecting these fees from their clients, administering the reporting requirements, and then submitting payments along with test reports. Starting inb January 2019, reports that are not uploaded timely may incur a $10 per report late fee.

If you need a service provider: 

Required Systems Test Reports and Submittal Frequency

Fire Protection System TypeCode/StandardFrequency
Alternative Extinguishing Systems (CO2, clean agent, dry chem) Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual
Automatic Sprinkler Systems - Dry Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual
Automatic Sprinkler Systems - Wet Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual
Emergency Alarm Systems (Haz Mat) Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual
Emergency Generators Seattle Fire Code 604.3 Annual
Fire Alarm Systems Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual
Fire Escapes Seattle Fire Code 1104.16.5.1  
SFD Administrative Rule 11.01.18
Every five years
Fire Pumps Seattle Fire Code 913.5 
NFPA 25 Chapter 8

Rangehood Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Every six months
Smoke Control Systems Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual
Standpipe Systems Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Every five years
Standpipe Systems - Marinas Seattle Fire Code 901.6 Annual

High - Rise Buildings 

  • Fire alarm systems in high-rise buildings may have a quarter of the entire system tested quarterly so the entire system is tested annually.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Testing reports are not required for portable fire extinguishers

  • Inspected and tested annually. 
  • Tag must be attached with the date and signature of certified technician.

Secondary tests and certain maintenance processes must be performed periodically. The intervals for secondary procedures are 1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 20, and 50 years depending on the type of system or component, and are defined in national standards including NFPA 25 and NFPA 72.

System test results must be submitted electronically by a certified technician to The Compliance Engine.

For your information, the following forms show the set of information for each system type that certified technicians are required to submit electronically to The Compliance Engine.

Fire Alarm

Automatic Sprinklers - Wet or Dry


Rangehood - Hood Suppression

Fire Pump

Smoke Control

Fire Escape

Emergency Generator

Dry Chemical

Clean Agent or CO2

BDA/DAS (Emergency Radio Comms)

Submit Report of Impaired System Form to and call hotline (206) 233-7219

You must notify the Seattle Fire Department of planned or emergency impairments that are anticipated to take a fire safety system out of service for more than eight hours. This notification of impairments lasting more than eight hours allows us to assess the risks and make any operational decisions necessary to ensure the safety of building occupants and firefighters.

Notification and Mitigation

When to provide notification:

  • Emergency impairments: Immediately
  • Planned impairments: Minimum of 5 business days in advance. We recommend you notify us immediately upon beginning to plan for the impairment.

Notification Process: 

You are required to follow the 2-step mandatory notification process.

  1. Call the systems impairment hotline (206) 233-7219 and provide specific information:
    • Caller name, company name, and phone number 
    • Name and address of building affected 
    • Name of the building owner or occupant and phone number
    • Nature of the impairment:  specifically which system has the problem (fire, alarm, sprinkler, etc.) and details on system locations or zones affected
    • Estimated time before it will be restored to service
    • Mitigation measures implemented
  2. Provide notification by email on the Report of Impaired System Form to You must use our reporting form; no other reporting form will be accepted.

Note:  You should notify your insurance carrier, alarm company, building owner/manager, and any supervisors or tenants in the affected areas. Tell them what the impairment is and provide an estimate of how long the system(s) might be out of service.

Mitigating Measures:  

When a fire protection system is out of order, it may be necessary for you to take mitigation measures. An approved fire-watch or other approved mitigation is required for impairments lasting more than eight hours. For additional information, see Section 8 of Administrative Rule 09.04.

System Restoration

What to do when the system is restored to service:  

When an impaired system is restored to normal working order you need to notify: 

  • Seattle Fire Department 
  • Insurance carrier 
  • Alarm company 
  • Building owner or manager 

The certified technician who restored the system to service should remove all red tags placed on the system while it was impaired and replace with a white tag. The certified technician must email a copy of the white/normal system test result to us at

Monitoring Services

What to do when monitoring services are interrupted 

You do not need to report an impairment. Interruption of monitoring should not prevent a fire protection system from functioning.

  • The alarm monitoring company must notify you of service interruptions. 
  • You must correct any system deficiency in a reasonable time. 

What to do when monitoring services are terminated

You do not need to report an impairment. Termination of monitoring should not prevent a fire protection system from functioning. Termination of monitoring service occurs when monitoring contracts expire or are cancelled.

The monitoring service provider must notify us whenever alarm monitoring services are terminated for fire alarm systems required to be monitored by the Seattle Fire Code. To notify us:

A fire watch is not required for fire alarm systems not monitored by a supervising station. The Seattle Fire Code does require the building owner to install permanent signs adjacent to each manual fire alarm box. The sign must read:  WHEN ALARM SOUNDS - CALL FIRE DEPARTMENT. This notifies occupants of the building to report any fire alarm signals or unwanted fires immediately by calling 911

Beginning in 2019, the Seattle Fire Department (SFD) along with many other jurisdictions in King County, including Bellevue, Shoreline and Redmond, is introducing a standard annual testing form for vendors to use to report on annual testing and maintenance for BDA/DAS.