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J.E. “Sam” Ryan, CBO

5280 Northwest Drive
Bellingham, Washington 98226
Telephone: (360) 676-6907

Fire Codes for New Construction
Whatcom County Code 15.04.010 adopts the 2009 edition of the International Fire Code as our local fire code.  In addition our office routinely references other codes in the International Code family and the National Fire Protection Association Codes.

Our inspectors review new construction plans for compliance with the Fire Code.  Some common reviews that occur are:

Commercial Plans

  • Review for fire flow (Whatcom County has adopted appendix B of IFC)
  • Review for any needed fire safety systems including sprinklers, fire alarms, hood systems, and fire extinguishers.
  • Review for storage and or use of hazardous materials or other dangerous processes
  • Review for access for fire department apparatus

Residential and Personal Storage Building plans

  • Review for fire flow – click here for more if your house is over 4000 square feet or your personal storage building is over 2500 square feet.
  • Review for Access – click here if your driveway is longer that 150 feet from a county roadway

When fire systems are required on new construction our Fire Inspectors conduct site inspections to ensure the systems are installed properly.  If you need an inspection for you new construction you need to notify the Fire Marshal’s Office at least one working day in advance.   You can call in your request to (360) 676-6907 and ask to speak to a fire inspector or e-mail us your inspection request.