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FAQ - Fire-Related Issues

Are sprinkler systems required in new homes?  I hear the 2012 International Residential Code requires them.

Although the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) requires sprinkler systems in new residences, Washington State's amended version of the IRC leaves this decision up to local governments (per a decision by the Washington State Building Code Council).

Thurston County does not require sprinklers in homes constructed under the IRC unless there are access issues as determined in the permit-review process.

Thurston County does, however, require an approved sprinkler system in buildings constructed under the International Building Code (IBC, which covers structures other than one and two family dwellings - ie, commercial). Click here for a description of nonresidential (commercial) requirements.

I'm building a home.  Do I need some sort of a fire permit?

No, a fire permit is not required for single-family or two-family residential structures; however, the building inspector will check to make sure that smoke detectors, wood stoves and wood fireplaces are installed correctly.

Do I need to install a carbon monoxide alarm?

For new construction and interior remodels a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in dwelling units and on each level of the dwelling unit and in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.  (WAC 51-51-0315)  The alarms must be UL 2034 compliant.

What is the role of the Fire Marshal?

The Fire Marshal reviews new, non-residential construction projects as well as fire code applications and installations. The Fire Marshal is also charged with the task of inspecting an estimated 1700 facilities in unincorporated Thurston County.   These facilities include schools, businesses, churches, nursing homes, child care facilities, warehouses, correctional facilities, and assembly buildings.  Click here for more information about inspections.

What Fire District Do I Live In?

You can find out by visiting the Thurston County Geodata website.

How do I contact the Fire District?

Click here for a list of Fire Districts in Thurston County with contact information.

Is there a burn ban?

Visit the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency website for current burn restrictions.

Is a permit needed to burn yard waste?

Yes, but Thurston County does not issue burn permits. Please visit the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency Agency to learn when and how to get a burn permit (external link).

Contact Us

Fire code construction inspections: Appointments must be scheduled in advance for Commercial Plan Review. You may schedule by contacting the Fire Inspector by email or phone (360) 628-3409. Bobby May: bobby.may@co.thurston.wa.us.

Fire annual safety inspection: Bobby May: bobby.may@co.thurston.wa.us

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