Chapter 16.44


16.44.010    Adopted.

16.44.020    Indemnity agreement required under this chapter.

16.44.030    Prohibited equipment.


16.44.040    Generally.

16.44.045    Definitions.

16.44.050    Installation standards.

16.44.055    Excessive false alarms.


16.44.060    General regulation.

16.44.070    Standards.

16.44.075    Fire Alarm System Monitoring and Maintenance.

16.44.080    Fire alarm center monitoring.

16.44.090    Installation approval.

16.44.100    Definitions.

16.44.120    Existing buildings.

16.44.130    Occupancy requirements.

16.44.150    Occupancy which blocks exit of another unit.

16.44.160    Discontinuance of system for cause.

16.44.170    Temporary discontinuance of emergency response action.

16.44.180    Penalty for false alarms.

16.44.190    Violations -- Misdemeanor -- Gross Misdemeanor -- Civil Infraction.

16.44.200    Required Fire Alarm Systems.

16.44.210    References.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010, repeals Section 16.44.140; Ord. 6310 §40, §41, §44, 2004).


16.44.010 Adopted

The city adopts the following prescribed regulations to be known as the alarm code, governing the sale, installation or termination of certain fire alarm and theft detection and holdup alarm systems within the city.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4078 §1, 1978; Ord. 3803 §1(part), 1973).

16.44.020 Indemnity agreement required under this chapter

Any person, firm or corporation desiring to install any alarm within the city which is covered by this chapter shall first sign an indemnity agreement holding the city harmless from any liability involving the failure of any agency alarm circuit or equipment.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4220 §2, 1980; Ord. 4078 §2, 1978; Ord. 3803 §1(part), 1973).

16.44.030 Prohibited equipment

Proprietary alarm equipment designed to alert any municipal emergency service by providing unattended automatic dialing of any public telephone number of any municipal emergency service for the purpose of transmitting a prerecorded message is prohibited.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 3803 §1(part), 1973).


16.44.040 Generally

A.    The following provisions shall apply to all monitored electronic security devices within the city whether or not the devices terminate at the county department of communications:

1.    All alarm companies who install, service, repair or maintain alarms within the city must have a valid city business license. Employees of such alarm companies, working on alarms within the city, must have a valid identification card issued by either the county sheriff’s office or the chief of police for the city. Such identification card will be issued only after the sheriff’s office or police chief conducts a criminal history check on the individual.

2.    A notice of intention to install an alarm device must be submitted for inspection and approval to the chief of police prior to installation. Any add-ons to existing approved alarm systems must also be approved prior to installation.

3.    Combination alarms will not be allowed within the city. For purposes of this section, combination alarms shall include devices combining burglary and fire alarms, devices combining burglary and hold-up alarms, and devices combining burglary and trouble alarms. There must be a distinct separation in the transmittal of any specific alarm activation.

4.    All owners or lessee/managers of premises in which an alarm system is installed shall provide to the alarm company contracted with or to Thurston County Central Dispatch, a notice containing the telephone numbers at which persons authorized to enter such premises can be reached at all times. Except when the alarm has automatically been reset, such persons shall be responsible to turn-off or reset such alarms within 30 minutes of being notified by the police to do so.

B.    The owner or lessee/manager of the premises within which the alarm was installed, or his designated representative, shall respond to the location of the premises within 30 minutes after an alarm activation is received if requested to do so by the police officers at the scene. The alarm shall not be activated to summon police for any reason other than that for which the alarm is approved.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4355 §1, 1982; Ord. 4220 §3, 1980; Ord. 4078 §3, 1978; Ord. 3803 §1(part), 1973).

16.44.045 Definitions

For purposes of theft detection and hold-up alarm devices, "false alarm" means the activation of a burglary or robbery alarm by other than a forced entry or attempted forced entry to the premises at a time when no burglary or robbery is being committed or attempted on the premises; provided, that activation of such device because of extreme temperatures, high winds, power outages and other similar causes not within the control of the alarm customer or alarm company shall not be considered a false alarm for purposes of this chapter.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4355 §2(part), 1982).

16.44.050 Installation standards

All theft detection and holdup alarm systems covered by this chapter shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of the ordinances of the city, and particularly any and all ordinances providing regulations regarding electrical installations.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4220 §4, 1980; Ord. 3803 §1(part), 1973).

16.44.055 Excessive false alarms

A.    Service charges for false alarms from any one location shall be assessed as follows:

1.    For the first two false alarms within any continuous 90 day period, no charge will be assessed.

2.    For the third false alarm within a continuous 90 day period, a charge of $50.00 will be assessed.

3.    For the fourth false alarm within a continuous 90 day period, a charge of $75.00 per false alarm will be assessed.

4.    For the fifth false alarm and every false alarm thereafter within a continuous 90 day period a charge of one hundred fifty dollars per false alarm over four will be assessed.

If the chief of police determines that a new system has been installed or adequate repairs have been made to an existing alarm system, a new continuous 90 day period, for purposes of this section, shall commence following the new installation or satisfactory repair.

Any false alarm involving a patrol response from the police department will be considered a billable alarm.

B.    False alarm penalties referred to in this section will be billed directly by the city to the alarm customer involved in the false alarm. A copy of the billing will be sent to the alarm company if applicable. If the city does not receive payment of the penalty amount within 60 days from the date of the billing, the city may terminate police response to the alarm until the penalty is paid.

C.    There is created within the city an alarm board consisting of the police chief, or his/her designee, the fire chief, or his/her designee, two representatives of the alarm industry, and two members of the public-at-large. The public members of the board shall be appointed by the city council upon the recommendation of the general government committee.

D.    The alarm board shall serve to review and make recommendations to the chief of police on theft detection and hold-up alarm matters and to the fire chief on fire alarms, including giving the chief of police a recommendation on any extenuating circumstances that he/she should consider in assessing a penalty for any billable false alarms.

E.    Any alarm customer may, within 10 days of receiving notice of a service charge for a false alarm, appeal the charge to the city manager or his/her designee if he or she feels that the charge was improperly assessed. A decision by the city manager or his/her designee on the appeal shall be final.

F.    The Olympia Police Department will respond only to alarms approved by the city of Olympia under Article II, Section 16.44.040(2). The chief of police may refuse to allow police response due to repeated failure of equipment or circuitry, multiple false alarms or failure to comply with all the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4734 §1, 1986: Ord. 4355 §2(part), 1982).


16.44.060 General regulation

A.    Design. All fire alarm plans submitted for approval shall bear the designer’s valid Washington State Low Voltage Specialty Electrical Contractor’s License number or shall be stamped by a registered fire protection or electrical engineer.

B.    Plans. All fire alarm system plans shall be submitted to the city for review and shall be approved prior to a permit being issued. Three copies of detailed plans showing the location of all alarm equipment and detailed specifications on each type of device in the system shall be included and consist of the following:

1.    Floor layout showing all rooms and spaces including accurate measurements to a scale no smaller than 1/8" scale.

2.    Identification of each room or space, i.e., office, lobby, attic, etc.

3.    Details of ceiling height and construction type.

4.    Location of each system component using the appropriate symbol.

5.    Explanatory notes and legend to lend clarity to the plan and identify the manufacturer and model number of each alarm component used.

6.    A wiring schematic clarifying type and size of wiring, which must comply with NFPA 70, and a point to point wiring diagram.

7.    A copy of the technical specifications, to include battery calculations, for each component used in the makeup of the automatic fire alarm system. If the components are not all from the same manufacturer, UL cross listing compatibility cards are required.

8.    Battery and voltage drop calculations.

9.    Plans shall be submitted to the City of Olympia for review and approval prior to commencement of work.

10.    Submit three (3) sets of plans and component specifications. Plans must show locations and type of each device in the system. Said plans shall be floor plans to scale.

11.    A plan check fee calculated under OMC Section 4.36.010 shall be paid to the City of Olympia at time of submittal of plans.

12.    When a system is installed with automatic detection, such detection shall be provided in all rooms and areas including concealed spaces and attics. Attic spaces, above ceiling spaces, and outside storage units on apartment buildings shall have fixed temperature detection. Exception: Buildings protected by an approved fire sprinkler system.

13.    All components shall be low voltage direct current and compatible with the remainder of the system.

14.    All components and wiring shall be supervised for defective devices, grounds, or breaks including annunciator if provided.

15.    All components shall be listed by a national testing agency for the use intended.

16.    All systems shall be provided with battery backup and battery charger.

17.    All systems shall have a monitoring, maintenance, and testing contract, to become effective on the date of final acceptance. No final approvals will be scheduled until such contracts are received by the Olympia Fire Department.

18.    All systems shall have the fire alarm control panel mounted so as to be readily visible arriving personnel or be provided with a remote annunciator. Such equipment shall be located so as to be protected from exposure to the elements.

19.    All systems which are required to be extended to an alarm receiving agency shall transmit system trouble signals of any kind as well as alarms, including but not limited to: phone line supervision, battery trouble and line supervision. They shall transmit fire condition over trouble if the trouble is of such nature that it does not disable the entire system. The alarm receiving agency shall be U.L., F.M., or NFPA listed for commercial fire.

20.    All systems shall have local audible trouble and audio/visual alarm signal devices. Audio/visual devices shall be sufficient in number and type to provide a minimum of 60 db in the most remote area. In commercial structures, audibility shall be sufficient to be clearly heard over the ambient noise level of the area served. When the control panel is located remote to occupied areas, it shall, in addition to the panel trouble device, be provided with a remote trouble audible device in an area which is normally occupied. This device shall be labeled "Fire Alarm System Trouble."

21.    Manual fire alarm stations shall be located within 5 feet of all required exits on each floor level and from the structure. Manual fire alarm stations in sprinklered buildings may be deleted or the required number lessened at the discretion of the fire chief or his/her designee.

22.    All alarm systems installed in a sprinklered structure shall include a zone for master water flow and shall supervise all sprinkler controlling valves. When a structure is provided with a zoned sprinkler system, the alarm shall be zoned in accordance with the sprinkler coverage zones.

23.    All systems shall be inspected and tested thoroughly by the installer who shall submit a record of completion. Failure of a system to meet NFPA72 performance standards and standards found in this Chapter shall be a basis for additional inspection fees after the second final inspection.

24.    All systems final acceptance is subject to wiring inspection (by electrical inspector), supervisory tests and proper functioning of all components. No Certificate of Occupancy shall be granted for the structure until satisfactory acceptance tests are accomplished.

25.    Apartment buildings and townhomes that require a fire alarm system shall have a 135 degree rate of rise (centrally located) and mini-horn/strobe unit in every unit. Exception: a heat detector is not required in apartment units protected by approved fire sprinklers.

26.    Smoke detectors shall be placed in all corridors and rooms which are intervening exit pathways.

27.    A smoke detector shall be provided within ten feet of fire alarm panel and other fire alarm control equipment which are in unattended locations.

C.    Alterations and/or additions to existing systems must comply with the requirements of B above.

D.    A maintenance testing agreement, signed by the building owner, shall be on record with the fire department prior to scheduling of final acceptance test.

E.    Plan Check Fee. A fee equal to 65 percent of the permit fee shall be forfeited to the city at the time of submittal of plans.

F.    Permit Fee. A fee equal to Table 1A of OMC 4.36.010, Building Valuation Table, with regional modifiers.

G.    Reinspection Fees. A $85.00 reinspection fee shall be assessed when an inspector is requested to make an inspection or witness a test on a fire alarm or sprinkler system, and upon arrival finds the work is not ready for inspection, or the test fails.

The chief of the fire department or his designee may, in writing, suspend or revoke any permit issued pursuant to this section whenever the chief finds that the permit was issued on the basis of error, deception or fraud on the part of the applicant or upon discovery of a violation of any of the applicable codes or ordinances of the city including the provisions of this article.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 6310 §39, 2004; Ord. 5520 §12, 1995; Ord. 4714 §31, 1986; Ord. 4415 §l(A), 1983).

16.44.070 Standards

A.    All fire alarm systems shall be installed in accordance with the ordinances of the city, and those portions of the National Fire Protection Standards which have been adopted by city ordinances.

B.    All new fire alarm systems shall be addressable systems. Systems shall communicate by point to the alarm monitoring agency, as defined in OMC 16.44.100(O).

C.    All fire alarm system wiring and components shall be electrically supervised.

D.    Fire alarm systems shall have a secondary power supply which shall automatically supply the energy to the system within 30 seconds of primary power supply failure. Under maximum normal load, the secondary supply shall have sufficient capacity to operate the fire alarm system for 24 hours, and then at the end of that period, operate all alarm indicating appliances and direct aid to the location of an emergency for 5 minutes.

E.    All rate-of-rise heat detectors shall have replacement links or be self-restoring for testing purposes.

F.    All trouble and supervisory indication for Post Indicating Valves, Wall Indicating Valves, and Outside Stem and Yoke Valves shall be on a zone isolated from waterflow indication, and supervised for trouble only.

G.    The supervised relay boards that control elevator recall, HVAC, air pressurization and all other auxiliary functions shall stay "locked in," even though the audible signaling circuits have been silenced, until the panel has been reset and returned to normal.

H.    Fire alarm systems required under this article, including existing required fire alarm systems, shall have a maintenance agreement in effect with a fire alarm company and/or qualified individual (Ordinance 4220). Such agreements must provide for periodic inspection and testing as prescribed by adopted local and national standards set forth in Appendix "A" of Ordinance 4415 (see Section 16.44.070A herein). Repair service shall be available within 24 hours of notification of trouble.

I.    Zoning shall be required on all fire alarm systems when a building or complex consists of three or more separate buildings, floors, or fire divisions. When remote annunciation is required, it shall be installed so as to be clearly visible and identifiable to personnel responding to an alarm. An approved graphic annunciator panel of the premises to be protected, identifying zones, shall be provided at each required annunciator.

J.    Devices shall include both audible and visual, or a combination as specified by the Fire Chief. Audible devices shall be placed in buildings and be so located that with all intervening doors closed, the alarm device shall be heard at a minimum of 60 dba, or not less than 15 decibels above the ambient noise level, whichever is greater. Mechanical areas require 85 dba, or not less than 15 decibels above the ambient noise level, whichever is greater. Visual devices shall be provided in all common use areas including restrooms, conference rooms, work rooms, etc.

K.    When internal fire separations are required by the Building or Fire Code, all protected openings shall be provided with magnetic hold open devices tied into the building fire alarm system.

L.    All devices installed on the exterior of a building shall be listed for exterior use, and shall be accompanied by appropriate weatherproof back boxes.

M.    One or more weatherproof horn strobe device(s) shall be installed on the exterior of the building, in a location to be designated by the Olympia Fire Department.

N.    Fire alarm control panels shall be located in a controlled heated environment. Ambient temperature shall be maintained at a range between 40 and 100 degrees F or as recommended by the manufacturer. Fire alarm control panels shall not be installed in an exterior location.

O.    Waterflow detection devices used in conjunction with a fire alarm panel shall be isolated to the last zone or zones. The installation shall conform to UL Standard #864, which states that the silence switch in the alarm panel shall be bypassed on zones having waterflow detectors. The way the alarm may be silenced is by the waterflow switch(es) returning to normal position by way of water flow cessation.

P.    Fire alarm control panels used in residential applications shall have zone verification capabilities for smoke detectors installed in dwelling units or guest rooms and connected to the control panel.

Q.    If a voice evacuation system is required, the control panel shall include amplifiers, relays, connections and battery standby power to provide a complete system.

R.    Detectors placed in false ceiling cavities shall be either analog with addressable modules or addressable, and shall have remote indicating lights in the ceiling below.

S.    Automatic detection connected to the fire alarm system in the guest rooms (sleeping rooms) of hotel/motel occupancies shall annunciate at a panel located at a consistently attended location. Such guest room smoke detectors shall be zone verification detectors. Corridor, stairway, and common area detectors are to be on separate zones from the guest room detectors.

T.    Where installations have elevators, detailed fire service operational plans shall be provided to include primary and alternate floor modes.

U.    Guest rooms in hotel/motel occupancies shall have a horn/strobe in each guest room.

V.    Combination alarms that combine burglar or hold-up alarms with fire alarms are not allowed.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord 5799 §32, 1998; Ord. 5520 §13, 1995; Ord. 5028 §18, 1989; Ord. 4415 §1(B), 1983).

16.44.075 Fire Alarm System Monitoring and Maintenance

A.    All fire alarm systems in the City of Olympia required by adopted City of Olympia ordinances, and/or any fire alarm system terminating a certified monitoring agency, as defined in NFPA 72, shall have in effect a maintenance agreement.

B.    A maintenance agreement shall be under the supervision of a responsible and qualified person or organization satisfactory to the authority having jurisdiction; who shall be under contractual agreement to make all required inspections and tests; and to promptly have repairs made as needed.

C.    Service personnel shall be available to initiate restoration of service following alarm or trouble within 24 hours of notification by the property owner or manager.

D.    Copies of the fire alarm maintenance agreement shall be filed with the authority having jurisdiction. The authority shall also be furnished written notification by the contract holder in the event the maintenance contract is canceled or is not renewed.

E.    Required tests of fire alarm systems. Records of all required tests shall be kept on the premises for a period of three years (RCW 40.14.010 external link). A copy of said required tests shall be forwarded to the authority having jurisdiction, the Olympia Fire Department.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 6310 §41, 2004).

16.44.080 Fire alarm center monitoring

A.    Where provisions of this chapter require extension of a fire alarm system, it shall be by one of the following methods:

1.    Approved digital alarm communication systems;

2.    Approved radio signal transmission.

B.    All structures or buildings which are 7,500 square feet or more in total floor area, that are required to have fixed fire protection systems, shall have the fire alarm system connected to an approved fire alarm center as set forth in this section.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 5520 §14, 1995; Ord. 5296 §10, 1992; Ord. 4714 §32, 1986; Ord. 4416 §1, 1983; Ord. 4415 §1(C), 1983).

16.44.090 Installation approval

A.    All companies installing automatic fire alarm systems shall have a state electrical contractor’s license and a City of Olympia business license.

B.    All persons installing automatic fire alarm systems shall hold a state low voltage installers certificate or journeyman electrician’s certificate per RCW 19.28 external link, section 510. An apprentice certificate is acceptable for installers when supervised by a certified journeyman per RCW 19.28 external link, sections 500-620.

C.    A completed fire alarm system record of completion shall be returned to the Olympia Fire Department prior to scheduling final system testing. All devices shall be pre-tested for the record of completion.

D.    An operational performance test of the entire fire alarm system will be required prior to final approval of said system. Such tests shall be coordinated by the fire chief, or his designee, and will require a copy of the "as-built" plans of the system, the presence of a representative of the fire alarm installer, and owner’s representative during the test. Where sprinkler systems are installed, a representative of that firm must be present. If, on the basis of said inspection and test, the chief or his designee determines the fire alarm system does not comply with the applicable ordinances or codes of the city, or if it does not conform to the plans as submitted with the application, he may revoke or suspend the permit previously issued until the nonconformities or violations are rectified. The building official shall not issue certificate of occupancy until written acceptance is on file.

E.    The use of a decibel meter may be employed to determine minimum sound levels during acceptance testing.

F.    A calibration test of each smoke detector shall be taken on existing, nonaddressable systems, and a written log kept, for comparison with the calibration readings taken every year after the initial installation.

G.    A condition of final acceptance of the fire alarm system shall be the receipt of a completed contractor’s material and test certificate - Fire Alarm and Automatic Detection Systems. The completed installation certificate shall be returned to the Olympia Fire Department.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 6310 §42, 2004; Ord. 5799 §34, 1998; Ord. 5520 §15, 1995; Ord. 4415 §1(D), 1983).

16.44.100 Definitions

Throughout this article the following definitions will apply:

A.    "Alarm service" means service requiring the following:

1.    The manual operation of a fire alarm signal station; or

2.    The transmission of an alarm indicating the operation of protective equipment or systems; or

3.    The transmission of an automatic fire alarm system; or

4.    The transmission or actuation of any other emergency fire alarm system; or

5.    Any combination of these.

B.    "Annunciator" means a unit containing two or more indicator lamps, alpha numeric displays, or other equivalent means in which each indication identifies the circuit, condition, or location to be annunciated.

C.    "Approved" means accepted by the authority having jurisdiction.

D.    "Authority having jurisdiction" means the organization, office or individual responsible for "approving" equipment, an installation, or a procedure. The organization is the Olympia Fire Department, the office is of the Fire Chief, and the individual is the Fire Chief or his/her designee.

E.    "Day treatment center" means an agency which provides care, supervision and appropriate therapeutic and educational services during part of the 24 hour day for a group of persons under the age of 18 years.

F.    "Digital alarm communicator systems" means a system in which signals are transmitted from a digital alarm communicator transmitter which is connected to an approved fire alarm system located at protected premises through the public switched telephone network to a digital alarm communicator receiver located at a fire alarm center.

G.    "Dwelling unit" means one or more habitable rooms which are occupied, or which are intended or designed to be occupied, by one family, and which include the facilities for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.

H.    "Education building" means a building or structure, or any portion thereof, used by persons harbored to receive instructions such as schools, universities, colleges, and academies. It also includes part-day nursery schools, kindergartens, and other schools whose purpose is primarily educational.

I.    "Fire alarm center" means receiving agencies approved by the Olympia Fire Department in compliance with NFPA Standards or Factory Mutual/Underwriters’ Laboratory approval alarm centers.

J.    "Fire alarm system" means a combination of listed compatible devices, control panels, audible and visual devices and other equipment together with the necessary electrical energy designed and wired to produce an alarm in the event of a fire or special system activation.

K.    "Gross floor area" means the total floor area of a building including basements and all projections which provide usable area other than normal roof eave overhangs not exceeding four feet in width.

L.    "Local fire alarm system" means a local system used exclusively to sound a fire alarm at the protected premises as the result of the manual or automatic operation of protection equipment or signaling systems.

M.    "Maintenance" means repair service, including periodic inspections and tests required to keep the protective signaling system and its component parts in an operative condition at all times.

N.    "Owner" means any person, agent, firm or corporation having legal or equitable interest in the property.

O.    "Point Communication" means systems shall identify by point of initiation to the alarm monitoring agency. The system shall communicate the specific location of the initiating device.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 6310 §43, 2004; Ord. 5799 §35, 1998; Ord. 5520 §16, 1995; Ord. 5028 §19, 1989; Ord. 4416 §2, 1983; Ord. 4415 §1(E), 1983).

16.44.120 Existing buildings

The provisions of this code shall apply to buildings existing as of the date this chapter was adopted, as well as to buildings constructed, altered or reconstructed after said date; provided that conditions legally in existence as of the date this chapter was adopted and not in strict compliance therewith may continue only if, in the opinion of the fire chief, said conditions do not constitute a significant hazard to life or property. In determining whether an existing condition constitutes such a hazard, the chief shall consider the type of construction and potential for fire spread in the structure, the degree of nonconformity with this chapter, and the number and density of occupants and the degree to which they are at risk.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4996 §1, 1989; Ord. 4415 §1(G), 1983).

16.44.130 Occupancy requirements

Fire alarm systems shall be provided in all occupancies as specified in this section and as requested in Section 907 external link, IFC (except Section 907.3 external link) in all structures which exceed 7,500 square feet gross floor area. Manual stations may be deleted or the required number lessened at the discretion of the fire chief or his representative.

The requirement for automatic fire detector devices may be waived, if not otherwise required by the International Building Code external link, when the building is fully protected by an approved automatic fire extinguishing system equipped with the water flow alarm connected to the building fire alarm system.

For the purpose of this subsection, portions of buildings separated by an area separation wall as defined in the International Building Code external linkshall not define separate buildings.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 6310 §45, 2004; Ord. 5520 §17, 1995; Ord. 5296 §11, 1992; Ord. 5028 §20, 1989; Ord. 4714 §33, 1986; Ord. 4415 §1(H), 1983).

16.44.150 Occupancy which blocks exit of another unit

In addition to all fire alarm requirements set forth in this article, the following shall apply: Any occupancy below or adjacent to a dwelling unit that in event of fire would block all exiting of that unit shall be provided with either fixed temperature or fixed temperature/rate-of-rise detectors on spacing as specified by the Olympia Fire Department.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4415 §1(J), 1983).

16.44.160 Discontinuance of system for cause

The fire chief may at any time order the discontinuance of any fire alarm system within the city due to repeated failure of equipment or circuitry, multiple false alarms or failures to comply with all of the provisions of this article. Such notice of discontinuance shall be made in writing to both the agencies supplying the alarm and to the person, firm or corporation affected, at least 48 hours prior to the disconnection of the alarm circuit.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4415 §1(K), 1983).

16.44.170 Temporary discontinuance of emergency response action

In the event of temporary failure of fire alarm equipment or circuitry, equipment malfunction of multiple false alarms, the fire chief may order all emergency response actions discontinued until repairs can be made by alarm agency personnel. A firewatch shall be provided by the owner.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4415 §1(L), 1983).

16.44.180 Penalty for false alarms

In each instance involving more than 2 false alarms from any one location within any calendar year, a penalty of $25.00 dollars may be made to the person, firm or corporation at the location where the alarm is installed. Where the cost of responding to any such false alarm exceeds $25.00 dollars, the actual cost may be itemized and submitted for payment.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 4714 §34, 1986; Ord. 4415 §1(M), 1983).

16.44.190 Violations -- Misdemeanor -- Gross Misdemeanor -- Civil Infraction

A.    Any person, firm, or corporation who knowingly violates or fails to comply with any term or provision of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor, and if found guilty, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), and/or to imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days or to both such fine and imprisonment. Each day shall be a separate offense. In the event of a continuing violation or failure to comply, the second and subsequent days shall constitute a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) and/or imprisonment not to exceed three hundred and sixty-five (365) days or both such time and imprisonment. Continuing violation shall mean the same type of violation which is committed within a year of the initial violation.

B.    As an additional concurrent penalty, it shall be a civil infraction for a person, firm, or corporation to violate or fail to comply with any term or provision of this chapter. Each day shall be a separate infraction. A person, firm, or corporation found to have committed a civil infraction shall be assessed a monetary penalty as follows:

1.    First offense: Class 3 ($50), not including statutory assessments.

2.    Second offense arising out of the same facts as the first offense: Class 2 ($125), not including statutory assessments.

3.    Third offense arising out of the same facts as the first offense: Class 1 ($250), not including statutory assessments.

See also OMC Chapter 4.44, Uniform Code Enforcement.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 8061 §56, 2001; Ord. 4415 §1(N), 1983).

16.44.200 Required Fire Alarm Systems

Required fire alarm systems shall be maintained in operative condition at all times. The Olympia Fire Department shall be notified immediately of any impairment of the fire alarm system. The owner shall be responsible for the repair of the system. The Fire Department shall require a 24 hour fire/security watch under 16.44.170 until the system is returned to normal operating condition.

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 5520 §19, 1995).

16.44.210 References

The following references, with applicable amendments, shall be used in the design, installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems within the City of Olympia; if there is a conflict between the codes, the code that provides the greatest degree of fire protection shall apply. References are current edition unless otherwise noted.


National Electrical Code


National Fire Alarm Code


Parking Structures


International Fire Code external link


International Building Code external link

WAC 51-20 external link& 21 external link

Washington State Barrier-Free Act

RCW 19.28 external link

Washington Electrical Code and Ordinances

(Ord. 6722 §8, 2010; Ord. 6310 §47, 2004; Ord. 5799 §37, 1998; Ord. 5520 §19, 1995).