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Service Station/Repair Garages Safety Inspection Tips

When personnel from the Kirkland Fire Department conduct annual fire safety inspections at automobile service stations or repair garages, some types of violations are commonly noted. The purpose of this bulletin is to provide you with some general information to help you and your employees comply with fire safety regulations so that you are not caught by surprise when our fire inspectors conduct their annual inspection. Please call the Kirkland Fire Prevention Bureau at 425-587-3650 if you have any questions regarding the requirements.

References used are as follows:

Uniform Fire Code, 1997 edition

Article 11, General Fire-Safety Precautions

Section 1108

Article 29, Repair Garages

Article 52, Motor Vehicle Fuel Dispensing Stations

Article 79, Flammable and Combustible Liquids

National Fire Protection Association

NFPA 88B, Standard for Repair Garages


Smoking shall be prohibited except in designated areas subject to the approval of the Fire Marshal. Smoking and open flames are prohibited in areas for servicing internal combustion engines. Conspicuous NO SMOKING signs shall be posted.

Smoking and open flames shall be prohibited in the areas used for fueling with or dispensing of Class I, II or III-A liquids. The motors of vehicles being fueled shall be stopped. Conspicuous signs prohibiting smoking, prohibiting dispensing into unapproved containers, and requiring vehicle motors to be stopped during fueling operations shall be posted within sight of each customer being served. UFC 79.903(d).


Oily rags shall be stored in metal containers equipped with tight-fitting, self-closing covers.


Parts cleaning and degreasing shall be conducted in approved machines which work properly and are in good repair. Solvents must be compatible with the machines in which they are used; Class I liquids such as gasoline are not allowed to be used in parts cleaning machines. Machines with fusible links shall be checked frequently to ensure the link mechanism is in working order. Link mechanisms shall not be altered in any way that would impair proper action.


Combustible rubbish such as cardboard boxes, oil containers, wrappers, etc., shall be stored in approved metal containers or other approved location and shall be removed from the premises on not less than a daily basis.

Floors shall be kept clean and free of oil and grease. Only approved water solutions or detergents, floor sweeping compounds, and grease absorbents shall be used for cleaning floors.


Flammable or combustible liquids, including stock for sale shall not be stored near exit doorways, stairways, or in a location that would impede egress.

Empty tanks and containers previously containing flammable/combustible liquids shall be stored as carefully as full containers. Containers, when emptied, shall have the covers or plugs immediately replaced.


Portable fire extinguishers with a rating of not less than 2A:20BC shall be installed and maintained on the premises. If used (even partially!), extinguishers shall be removed from access and replaced by a functioning extinguisher. A fire extinguisher shall be provided and located such that it is not more than 75 feet from any pump, dispenser, or fill-pipe opening. Clear access shall be maintained to permit ready use of fire fighting equipment

When facilities have fire sprinkler systems or fire alarms, these systems shall be maintained in reliable operating condition at all times. At a minimum, these systems shall receive annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified person or company. A copy of the test certificate shall provide to the Fire Department.


The pump master switch shall be labeled with signs identifying "Emergency Pump Shutoff."


Electrical wiring and equipment shall be installed in a manner which provides reasonable safety to persons and property. Wiring for heat, power, lights, signal, or control circuits, electrically operated tools, and portable appliances shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of the National Electrical Code; all new wiring installations are subject to inspection by the State Electrical Inspector.

Heating equipment shall be of an approved type. Space heaters are prohibited in areas where combustible liquids are stored or handled.


Jeff Blake, Fire Chief

Fire Services
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries
T. 425.587.3650 | F. 425.587.3671