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Emergency Rule Making Regarding Battery Energy Storage Systems (January 20, 2023)

The SBCC recently passed an emergency amendment to the 2018 Fire Code to bring forward additional provisions available in the 2021 code related to requirements for battery energy storage systems.  This amendment provides local AHJs additional safety provisions at time of permitting and installation -- provisions that are included in the 2021 codes but not available under the 2018 code.  These changes (shown in underline below) will take effect following the publication by the State’s Code Reviser’s office (early February).  

1201.1 Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the installation, operation and maintenance of energy systems used for generating or storing energy. It shall not apply to equipment associated with the generation, control, transformation, transmission, or distribution of energy installations that is under the exclusive control of an electric utility or lawfully designated agency. Energy storage systems regulated by Section 1206 shall comply with this chapter as appropriate and NFPA 855.


NFPA 855-23 Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems


Wildland Urban Interface Maps and RCW Requirements - November 2022 Updates

Because of the high risk of wildland fires in parts of Washington, and the benefit from taking steps to reduce these risks, WSAFM encourages member agencies to start thinking about your agency’s enforcement strategy for wildland urban interface (WUI).  This code affects most jurisdictions in Washington, including urban and rural, east and west.  

The State Building Code Council (SBCC) voted in November 2022 to adopt the WUI Code in Washington State.  The WUI Code will take effect in the state on July 1, 2023, along with the other state codes.  The SBCC accepted the Technical Advisory Group's (TAG's)  amendments to the WUI code for the 2021 code cycle.  Among other things, the amendments offer more flexible framework based on site and construction specifics as an alternative to the straight requirements in RCW 19.27.560.  WSAFM and WABO were both represented in this work.  

What should I do to get ready to implement WUI?

WSAFM recommends that fire marshals and their staff become familiar the provisions in RCW 19.27.560 and the anticipated amendments to the WUI code being worked on by the SBCC.  

  • Browse the new WUI map for your region and determine if you want to make any changes or if the parcel classification looks appropriate
  • Review RCW 19.27.560 International Wildland Urban Interface Code and proposals for WUI Code updates at the SBCC.
  • Engage the building official in your jurisdiction and talk about roles in terms of permitting, plan review, and site inspections - for example, the building official may be appropriate to handle all the construction related provisions and the fire marshal staff may be appropriate to handle access and water supply questions.  One new item is vegetation management.  
  • See also the slides from the Fire Marshals Round Table on WUI from the 2022 FPI.

On Demand Mobile Fueling - 2018 Code Amendments and Resources for Member Agencies 

The 2018 Fire Code establishes permitting for “on demand mobile fueling”, a newer service where cars are refueled at their parking location. Section 5707 of the 2018 Fire Code sets out a permitting structure and July 2021 amendments included further permitting provisions.  WSAFM has compiled on-demand mobile fueling resources for member agencies who are standing up a new permitting program for on-demand mobile fueling including code summaries, standard permit and condition templates, and information about allowing another agency to handle fuel truck permitting and inspections. 

Washington State Association of Fire Marshals

Address: 605 11th Ave SE, Suite 211, Olympia WA, 98501

(360) 352-0161 email:

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