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December 13, 2001

New permits intended to improve boiler safety

TUMWATER - A new permitting process in the Department of Labor & Industries' Boiler/Pressure Vessel Program will help ensure that boilers and pressure vessels in Washington are installed safely in places of public assembly and commercial locations. The new installation permit and associated fee take effect January 1.

Boilers produce hot water or steam and generally are used to heat buildings. Unfired pressure vessels include such things as water heaters and air tanks. Proper installation is important for public safety because, if done incorrectly, it can result in explosions that can cause injuries or even death.

Beginning next month, owners or boiler installers will be required to obtain a permit with L&I for $50. Subsequently, the department will conduct a plan and installation review. Until now, there has been no formal system for tracking boiler and pressure-vessel installations.

The permits and fees were adopted November 30 by the Board of Boiler Rules, a five-member panel appointed by the governor that formulates rules and regulations for the safe and proper installation and operation of boilers and pressure vessels.

More information about L&I's Boiler/Pressure Vessel Program, as well as the new permit, is available at www.LNI.wa.gov/scs/boilers, or by calling 360-902-5272 or 360-902-5273. Information also is available on the L&I web site about safety of home water heaters, which are exempt from plan and inspection review.

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