Any person who willfully and without cause tampers with, molests, injures or breaks any public or private fire alarm apparatus, emergency phone, radio, or other wire or signal, or any firefighting equipment, or who willfully and without having reasonable grounds for believing a fire exists, sends, gives, transmits, or sounds any false alarm of fire, by shouting in a public place or by means of any public or private fire alarm system or signal, or by telephone, is guilty of a misdemeanor. This provision shall not prohibit the testing of fire alarm systems by persons authorized to do so, by a fire department or the chief of the Washington state patrol, through the director of fire protection.


IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.
Effective date1995 c 369: See note following RCW 43.43.930.
Severability1986 c 266: See note following RCW 38.52.005.

Terms Used In Washington Code 9.40.100

  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • person: may be construed to include the United States, this state, or any state or territory, or any public or private corporation or limited liability company, as well as an individual. See Washington Code 1.16.080