Does Your Seattle High Rise Meet the New Seattle Fire Code 510?

Bob Vezzani
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Some existing high rise buildings in Seattle are subject to a retroactive installation of an emergency responder communications system. This means that if your building does not have a system, you will be required to retroactively install one in 2016.

What Is Seattle Fire Code 510?

Seattle Fire Code 510 requires reliable communication for emergency responders for all new high-rise buildings in the City of Seattle. In addition, the code applies retroactively to existing high-rise buildings.

The retroactive nature of this code means that for existing buildings that do not have a wired communication system or approved radio coverage for emergency responders the building must be updated. Building owners/managers have a choice of how to comply with the requirement. They can either choose a radio coverage enhancement system (DBA/DAS system) OR a wired fire department communication system in accordance with SFC Section 907.2.12.2.

According to a Client Assistance Memo released by the Seattle Fire Department, there are 4 different categories of compliance. The Fire Marshall’s office has tentatively identified about 95 buildings in Seattle that are 75 feet above grade or higher that will be impacted by this new requirement. That means that there is no time to lose in order to get your building to meet the requirements of SFC 510.

Guardian Security Can Help.

Guardian Security Systems, Inc. is one of the largest locally-owned and operated fire and security alarm contractors in the Puget Sound area with an experienced and dedicated staff of technicians, design expertise, and administrative professionals. We can provide a quote on approved wired fire department communication systems.

We will work with the City of Seattle to get the permits, design the project to code, get the full final fire department sign off, and then provide all the close out documents at completion.

Contact us today to begin the process of updating your high rise to make it safe and code compliant for emergency responder communication systems.


  • Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Client Assistance Memo 5123
  • Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Client Assistance Memo 5122

For more information about radio coverage visit the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council at: