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Building Inspection Program

About the Program

The Tacoma Fire Department conducts inspections of the City’s commercial buildings (i.e., businesses, schools, institutions, apartments, churches, hotels etc.) to ensure compliance with the adopted Fire Code.

These annual inspections are one of the lowest-cost ways to help protect your property and the safety of your employees and visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Building Inspection Program?
The Building Inspection Program is a comprehensive annual inspection of both buildings and businesses in Tacoma. Tacoma Fire Department utilizes the adopted Fire Code to determine which businesses and buildings will be inspected.

Does the Building Inspection Program apply to me?
The program applies to commercial, multi-family and industrial buildings and business owners. Businesses legally permitted in a single-family residence are generally exempt from the inspection program.

What areas are included in my annual inspection?
The annual inspection covers all business areas, public areas, and the exterior space of a building.

How is my inspection fee calculated?
The fee is determined by the occupancy type and area (sq. ft.) of the building or business. We charge a single fee that covers our initial inspection and a reinspection if necessary.

How much is the fee?
View the fee schedule

How long after my inspection will I receive an invoice?
You will receive an invoice within 30 days. The invoice will be sent to the email address you provide for our records. If you don't have an email address, it will be sent to your mailing address.

How much time will I have to pay the invoice?
You will have 30 days to submit payment.

Can I pay with a credit card?
Yes, we accept credit card payments over the phone at (253) 591-5751.

Do other fire departments charge inspection fees?
Yes, other comparable departments use a similar fee structure for safety inspections.

If I operate my own business and also lease part of the same building to another business, for what portion will I be charged?
The building owner will be charged for any spaces they occupy and the portions of the building which are not currently leased.

What will happen if violations are found?
If violations are found, you will be asked to correct them. We will conduct a courtesy re-inspection within 15-30 days to verify the violations have been corrected. Violations considered an imminent danger or life-threatening will result in immediate corrective action. 

What happens if I do not correct my violations?
If the violations are not corrected by the time of your courtesy reinspection, you will be referred to the Fire Prevention Division for further follow up. Referrals to the Fire Prevention Division will likely result in additional fees and fines being issued.

How do I benefit from this program?
There are many benefits to the building inspection program, but the most important is the increase in life safety for you, your customers and employees. By identifying and eliminating hazards, together we can significantly reduce the probability of a fire occurring at your business. Additionally, annual fire safety inspections are one of the factors that the insurance industry uses to calculate insurance rates paid by businesses.

How can I best prepare for my inspection?
Please review our building inspection checklist for a complete list of all items that will be inspected for compliance.

Who can I call if I have questions about this program?
If you have additional questions about the Building Inspection Program, you can email the Fire Prevention Division or call (253) 591-5740.

Additional Information
Fee Schedule
Program Brochure
Inspection Checklist

Contact Information

Fire Prevention Division
3471 S. 35th Street
Tacoma, WA 98409

Phone: (253) 591-5740


Business Hours

Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM