Fire Prevention Bureau

photo of large fire with firefighters

New 2024 Fire Permit Fees will go into effect on January 1, 2024. View more information here

The Kirkland Fire Department will only accept inspection and testing reports electronically via The Compliance Engine's online system at To learn more about this program read the letter from the Fire Marshal(PDF, 122KB).

The Kirkland Bureau of Fire Prevention currently has 7 staff members: the Fire Marshal, the Assistant Fire Marshal, 4 Fire Inspectors and a Permit Technician.

The Fire Investigation Team is also part of the Fire Prevention Bureau. The Fire Investigation Unit (FIU) consists of 7 dual role investigators (6 from the Fire Department and 1 from the Police Department).

For general inspection and fire code questions please contact the Fire Inspectors at or call 425-587-3661. We will attempt to return inquiries within 2 business days.


Fire Bureau Mission

Our mission is to create a safe environment for our residents and our business community. We strive to prevent injury and loss of life and property through the following activities:

  • Plan review and permit issuance for new construction
    and fire protection systems
  • Inspections of new construction and fire protection
  • Issuance of operational permits for activities regulated
    by the International Fire Code
  • Annual fire/life safety inspections in existing buildings
  • Investigation of fires to determine origin and cause
  • Code and policy development and interpretation
  • Publication of operating policies and fire safety information bulletins
  • Adult Education
  • Safe Child Education


Fire Prevention Information Bulletins

Fire Department Permits

The City of Kirkland Fire Department requires construction related permits for; building construction, alteration, demolition, new occupancies and changes of occupancy (certificate of occupancy), installation of fire alarm systems, installation of fire suppression systems, building responder radio systems and underground fire supply lines.

The Department also regulates permits for operational activities in compliance with state law and the International Fire Code (IFC). Activities such as; fireworks, explosives, hazardous materials storage and production, carnivals and expositions, bonfires, underground tank removal, compressed gases, hot work and other activities that are deemed hazardous by the Fire Marshal.

Construction and IFC related permits are conveniently located and applied for electronically at

Operational Permits - International Fire Code Permits (IFC)

International Fire Code Permits
Required by Kirkland Fire Department

A limited number of permits are available without extensive review. Permits meeting certain qualifications may be applied and issued under one payment. Applicants must follow all conditions associated on the permit and the permit must be available on site at all times. Permits must be issued and paid for prior to the permitted activity taking place. Activities started prior to permit issuance are subject to double fees and civil fines. Permits are site specific and are intended to renew annually during a fire-safety inspection.  Most permits are valid for one year with some exceptions.

Amusement Buildings – An operational permit is required to operate a special amusement building.

Carnivals, Fairs, Exhibits and Trade shows – An operational permit is required to conduct any of these activities. Other conditions requiring permit may also be required in addition to this basic permit. Events qualifying under the City’s Special Event Permitting will be reviewed and permitted under that category.

Open Flame or Gas Fired Equipment within a Mall – The display of liquid or gas fired equipment or the use of open flame or flame producing equipment within a mall requires an operational permit.

Cutting and welding –An operational permit is required to conduct cutting or welding operations within the jurisdiction.

Fumigation and Insecticidal fogging – An operational permit is required to operate a business of fumigation or fogging or for the storage of toxic or flammable fumigant.

Hot work – Any hot work not associated with a building permit. Including; public demonstrations, portable hot work equipment used within a structure, welding booths, application of roof coverings and hot work conducted in urban interface fire areas. In the case of welding associated permits only one permit is required. (Hot work or welding)

Open Flames – A permit is required to use an open flame within a structure classified as an assembly or dining occupancy or in any occupancy requiring a liquor license.

Spraying or Dipping – An operational permit is required to conduct spraying or dipping operations utilizing flammable or combustible liquids or combustible powders. Additional permits may be required for hazardous materials that exceed allowable amounts.

Oils and extractions – An operational permit is required for oil and essence extraction operations utilizing flammable or combustible liquids or gases. Additional permits may be required for hazardous materials that exceed allowable amounts.

Temporary membrane structures and tents – A permit is required to operate an air supported membrane structure or tent in excess of 400 square feet. Or a cluster of tents in excess of 700 square feet. Or a single tent over 700 square feet that does not have sides. Exception: tents used for recreational camping. Tents used as temporary housing shall be reviewed and permitted under that category.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Gas Enrichment Systems – An operational permit is required to conduct operations that have the potential to create low oxygen environments within structures. Including, but not limited to; CO2 enhancement, CO2 generators or storage of more than 100 pounds of CO2.

Sparklers – The use of sparklers at specific events qualifying for expressive displays require a permit. There is no fee associated with this permit.

Bonfires - Any recreational fire exceeding 3 ft. around and 2 ft. high requires an operational permit by the land owner. Fires are limited to a maximum of 5 ft. x 5 ft. x 5 ft. and land clearing burns are not allowed in Kirkland.

Permits requiring Fire Department review

Permits requiring review must be submitted with a complete application including payment and all supporting documents related to the activity. Application shall be made no less than 28 days prior to the planned activity to ensure review. Activities started prior to issuance of a permit are subject to double fees, civil fines and may constitute criminal activity.

Hazardous Materials – A permit is required to store, transport on site, dispense, use or handle hazardous materials in excess of amounts listed in IFC table 105.6.20  A permit is also required to store, handle or use hazardous production materials at a production facility.

Aerosol Products – Manufacture, storage or handling of an aggregate amount in excess of 500 lbs. of level 2 or level 3 aerosol products requires a permit.

Combustible dust and fibers – Operations producing combustible fibers in excess of 100 cubic feet or operations producing combustible dust require a permit.

Compressed Gases - The use, storage or handling of compressed gases in excess of the amounts listed in table 105.6.8 requires a permit. These amounts vary depending on toxicity and reactivity, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau to verify listed amounts for specific types of gases.

Cryogenic fluids - The use, storage or handling of cryogenic fluids in excess of the amounts listed in table 105.6.10 requires a permit. These amounts vary depending on toxicity and reactivity, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau to verify listed amounts for specific types of cryogenic fluids.

LP Gas – An operational permit is required for the storage and use of LP gas in excess of 100 gallons aggregate.

Magnesium – An operational permit is required to melt, cast, heat treat or grind more than 10 lbs of magnesium.

Flammable/reactive metals – a permit is required to store or handle more than 50 lbs. aggregate of flammable metals including but not limited to magnesium and lithium.

Battery systems – A permit is required to store or use battery systems having a liquid capacity in excess of 50 gallons.

Explosives – A permit is required for the manufacture, storage, handling, sale, or use of any quantity of explosives, explosive materials, fireworks or pyrotechnic effects identified within the IFC. For legal exceptions contact the Fire Prevention bureau. Fireworks specific permits will be processed under that category.

Temporary housing – Temporary residential housing in structures (including tents) that are not designed for permanent habitation require a permit. Permits are valid for up to 90 days. Fees may be waived if housing is considered emergency housing.

Fireworks- Consumer fireworks are illegal to sell, purchase, use or possess within the City of Kirkland. Shows by a WA licensed pyrotechnician require a permit. The storage, loading, handling or production of fireworks also requires a permit. This permit is $100.00 and is valid for the event permitted.

Special Events – Events qualifying for the City’s Special Events Permit and Planning will have all permitted conditions collected under one permit issued by the department for the duration of that single event.

Underground storage tank removal – The removal or alteration of underground storage tanks requires a permit. Permits must be issued prior to final removal of any remaining stored product.

Exception: residential tanks on single family residential lots are exempt.

Permits may also be required for activities deemed hazardous by the Fire Marshal but not listed here.

All previously issued permits that have expired may be re-applied for within 30 days of expiration without additional review - if no changes have been made to applicant, quantities, locations, use or conditions.


Fireworks in Kirkland

Fireworks are illegal in Kirkland and have been since 1999 – even on the 4th of July. Specifically, this means it is prohibited in the City to light fireworks, sell them or even have them in your possession. That includes sparklers and smoke bombs (yes, even those). In fact, sparklers are one of the leading causes of fireworks-related injuries.

In 2021, across the country, sparklers were the cause of 900 fireworks-related injuries, while firecrackers caused 1600 injuries.

In 2020, the Washington State Fire Marshal’s Office received 237 reports of injuries from fireworks and 360 reported fires due to fireworks, resulting in a loss of more than $1.3 million.

fireworks are illegal in Kirkland without a permit

But all this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fireworks on the 4th of July – just let the professionals handle them by going to a public fireworks display instead. Check with neighboring cities like Bellevue, Renton, Sammamish or Seattle.

A couple more notes:

  1. If you need to dispose of any unused fireworks, call Kirkland Police at (425) 577-5656 and they’ll take care of them for you. By the way, if police see you with fireworks, they will seize them and give you a ticket, so don’t risk your safety - or your wallet!
  2. Also, stepping outside City limits to stealthily light fireworks isn’t a good idea – a new ban on fireworks across unincorporated King County went into effect beginning with the 2022 4th of July season.

See everything you wanted to know about Kirkland’s Municipal Code on fireworks.

Fire prevention bureau FAQs

Is a barbecue grill allowed on the deck of my apartment or condominium?

The City of Kirkland does not restrict the storage and use of barbecue grills on decks, although your homeowners’ association or apartment rules may.

Can I burn outdoors?

In urban areas of King County, all outdoor burning (burning of yard waste, garbage, etc.) is prohibited by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA).  The burning of yard debris, construction materials or trash is not allowed at any time. The Kirkland Fire Department works closely with PSCAA to help enforce regulations specifically concerning outdoor burning.

If I cannot burn my yard waste, what do I do with it?

The King County Solid Waste website gives information on disposal of yard waste as well as other types of waste.

Are there any exceptions to the restriction on outdoor burning?

One exception to the open burning prohibition is for recreational fires.  Such fires are allowed without a permit as long as the following precautions are taken:

  • The fire must be kept small (no larger than three feet in diameter and two feet in height).
  • Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material, such as a wooden fence, trees, brush, or tall grass.
  • Recreational fires must be continually attended by a responsible person until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Some means of extinguishing the fire must be readily available.  This can be a portable fire extinguisher with a rating of 2-A.  Other means of approved materials for extinguishing the fire are dirt, sand, a water barrel, or water hose.
  • Try to use the driest wood available in order to produce the least amount of smoke possible.  If the smoke from your fire is an irritant to neighbors you may have to extinguish the fire. 
  • Finally, always check with PSCAA to make sure there is not a burn ban in effect due to air quality before having any kind of outdoor fire.

How do I find out if there is a burn ban in effect?

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency regulates burn bans.  You can check on the current PSCAA’ website or call the PSCAA burn ban information line at 1-800-595-4341.

How do I dispose of old fire extinguishers?

Residents in King County can dispose of empty fire extinguishers with their regular garbage. Non-empty fire extinguishers should be taken to a household hazardous waste location for disposal, see King County locations and the Wastemobile schedule. For more information visit

How do I dispose of hazardous waste/liquids?

Paints, solvents, computers, televisions, fuels and some other materials are considered hazardous waste, and should never be thrown away with normal refuse. For more information on what constitutes hazardous waste and appropriate disposal of such items, see the King County Public Health website.

How do I dispose of LP or propane gas tanks?

Empty liquid petroleum gas canisters less than two pounds (such as the small Coleman camping canisters) may be placed in the garbage. Larger canisters, either empty or containing gas, need to be taken to one of the household hazardous waste facilities.

Propane barbecue tanks should be exchanged at a propane supplier or disposed at household hazardous waste collection facilities. For more information please see the King County Public Health website.

Does Kirkland Fire Department charge for responding to false fire alarms? 

Kirkland Fire does not currently have a false fire alarm fee.  However, if your alarm system sends repeated alarms, you may be required to take the system off line and then to post a 24-hour fire watch until the system is repaired satisfactorily.  Posting a fire watch can be very expensive. 

How many smoke detectors should I have in my home and where should they be placed?

You should install smoke alarms in every bedroom.  There should also be alarms outside every sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.  You can find additional information regarding smoke alarms at The National Fire Prevention Association safety tip sheet.

Why is my smoke detector making a chirping noise?

Smoke detectors are designed to emit a “chirp” every few minutes if the battery is low. This is a warning that the battery should be replaced immediately.

SmokeAlarms.pdf(PDF, 496KB)

What is a carbon monoxide (CO) detector and where should it be placed?

A CO detector is designed to alert you of carbon monoxide which is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by burning fuels (gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil, and/or natural gas for example). 

CO alarms must be installed in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions, and must be located outside of each sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom. Multiple alarms may be needed depending on the size and configuration of the dwelling unit. Again, be sure to carefully follow the manufacturers’ installation instructions.

What is the best kind of fire extinguisher for my house?

10 Fire extinguishers are designed for certain types of materials and situations. "BC" fire extinguishers are recommended for a kitchen. These extinguishers are designed to more effective on grease, oils, and electrical fires. An "ABC" fire extinguisher is good for common items such as cloth, paper, and other ordinary combustibles.

What is Kirkland’s ISO rating? 

ISO stands for Insurance Service Organization.  Kirkland Fire Department currently has an ISO rating of 4.  The Fire Prevention Bureau has an ISO rating of 8. The Kirkland Building Department has an ISO rating of 3. The rating scale effects insurance rates. The rating scale range is 1 for optimal coverage and 10 for unprotected.

Are fire sprinklers required in all new homes?

No, The Department highly recommends sprinkling new homes as the single most effective way to protect your family from the effects of fire. Currently Kirkland only requires sprinklers to be installed in new homes that are over 5,000 gross square feet in size (including garage), or in those cases where there are access limitations or fire flow (water supply) issues. 



Construction Permits

The Fire Department works closely with building and development services within the city to review, inspect and permit construction activity.

Building Review focuses on land and structural improvements that effect safety and resiliency of the community related to fire and emergency risks. For detailed building review processes please visit the Development Services page.

System Permits cover fire alarm and fire suppression features within structures. The review of design, permitting and inspection of installations are captured under one permit. Review Fees are paid at application and Inspection Fees are paid when the permit for the work is issued. Permits are applied for electronically using

Construction related Fire Department Fees are located within the KMC or in Table 13 abbreviated(PDF, 382KB) .

For questions about fire related permits please contact or 425-587-3661 and we will return your message generally within 48 hours.