Salomon bill would increase inspections of fire sprinkler systems

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

State Sen. Jesse Salomon - D-Shoreline
Public safety would be heightened by the creation of an account to increase resources for residential and commercial fire inspections, under legislation passed today by the Senate.

Senate Bill 5880, sponsored by Sen. Jesse Salomon (D-Shoreline), would fund the account by increasing license fees for installers as well as penalties for systems installed without state certification. The bill passed 44-5 with overwhelmingly bipartisan support.

“Our standards are put in place to protect property, prevent tragedies and save lives, but the state fire marshal doesn’t have the resources to be everywhere,” Salomon said. “This badly need funding stream will increase the fire marshal’s ability to identify and investigate bad actors.”

The state fire marshal’s office typically encounters two types of problems with fire sprinkler installations. One stems from companies from Oregon that lack the credentials or training to install fire sprinkler systems according to Washington state standards. The other stems from the level of competition in the construction industry, which can put pressure on some contractors to cut corners.

“No one thinks about sprinkler systems until there’s a fire, but if sprinklers are not working, it’s too late,” Salomon said. “Inspections are critical to making sure our sprinklers work as intended in the event of a fire.”


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