Any person engaged in the cleaning and inspection of commercial cooking operations, as of January 1, 2010 must hold a Certificate of Competency issued by the State Fire Marshal. All cleaning and inspection that takes place must comply with the regulation which is based on the 2011 edition of NFPA 96 (National Fire Protection Association 96).

     The following is a list of frequently asked questions regarding the implementation of 527 CMR 1.00 and the Certificate of Competency. If you have further questions please contact the Code Compliance and Enforcement Unit at 978-567-3375:

     With the implementation of these requirements several interpretation requests have been received and answered by the Board of Fire Prevention Regulations. The letters are posted on the following document for information:



License Required

Any person engaged in the cleaning and inspection of commercial cooking operations must hold a Certificate of Competency issued by the State Fire Marshal. All cleaning and inspection that takes place must comply with the regulation which is based on the 527 CMR 1.00 Chapter 50.

If you have questions concerning the regulation, or compliance issues, please contact the Code Compliance Desk at 978-567-3375, or in western Massachusetts at 413-587-3181. The City of Boston has its own requirements. Contact the Boston Fire Department if planning to work in Boston.

The regulation pdf format of Massachusetts 527 CMR 1.00 
 requires a frequency of inspection, as established by 527 CMR 1.00:50.5.4 and Table 50.5.4. Based on the results of the inspection, a determination is made by the inspector if the system needs to be cleaned.

Schedule of Inspection for Grease Buildup

Type or Volume of CookingInspection Frequency
Systems serving solid fuel cooking operationsMonthly
Systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cookingQuarterly
Systems Serving moderate-volume cooking operationsSemi-annually
Systems Serving low-volume cooking operations such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses or senior centersAnnually



Labels are to be fixed to commercial cooking equipment, in accordance with 527 CMR 1.00: and further, the content, size, design and placement shall be prescribed by the State Fire Marshal. pdf format of Label Requirements

The regulation requires the head of the fire department to issue a cease and desist order at any facility that has not had an inspection within the past twelve months, in accordance with Table 50.5.4.

Two Types of Licenses

There are two levels of certificate of competency available. A restricted certificate of competency (Type 2) for owners that would like to clean their own commercial cooking operation and a unrestricted for those holding themselves out to the general public for business (Type 1). Both of these certificates require that the individual pass a written examination offered by the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Type 1: This Certificate of Competency is issued to those individuals who are in the business of cleaning and inspecting commercial cooking exhaust systems. Requires that the individual have inspected and/or cleaned commercial cooking exhaust systems for a minimum of 500 hours within the past six (6) months.

Type 2: This "restricted" Certificate of Competency is issued for those individuals who conduct cleaning activities for commercial cooking operations that they own or operate.

Currently there is no fee for the license or license exam, but the regulation allows for one to be established.

Restricted License for Cleaning Own Premises Only

The owner or operator of a commercial cooking operation, or employee thereof, shall not be prohibited from conducting the actual cleaning and grease removal of hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts and other appurtenances in their own commercial cooking, as long as the owner or operator holds a "restricted" Certificate of Competency. The restricted Certificate of Competency does not allow the holder of the certificate to conduct cleaning services for other commercial cooking operations. Owners and operators will still need to have an individual holding a Type 1 Certificate of Competency conduct all inspections

Inspections Must be Done by Type 1 License Holders

Inspections must be done by holders of a Type 1 license. Holders of the Type 2 restricted licenses cannot perform inspections, only cleaning of systems on their own property.

The Division of Professional Licensure in accordance with the Chapter 232 of the Acts of 2008 are now required to provide oversight and licensure of sheet metal work, including commercial cooking operations. Additional information can be found on their web site.

Notice of Non-Compliant Systems

If a person holding a certificate of competency finds a commercial cooking operation not in compliance with 527 CMR 1.00 Chapter 50, related to grease build up shall notice the local fire department with 48 hours, on a form pdf format of uniform_non_compliance_reports.pdf
prescribed by the marshal and provide a copy to the owner of the system.


Records of each inspection and cleaning activity shall be produced by the person holding a certificate of competency. The regulation pdf format of Massachusetts 527 CMR 1.00 
prescribes the minimum information that must be contained on the inspection and cleaning forms. The owner or operator of a building and the person holding the certificate of competency shall maintain the records for at least three years.

Telephone Numbers:

OSFM Code Compliance and Enforcement Unit(978) 567-3375
Licensing and Permits(978) 567-3700
Fire & Explosion Investigation Section(978) 567-3310
Arson Hotline(800) 682-9229
Western Mass. Office(413) 587-3181
Public Fire Safety Education Hotline(877) 9NO-FIRE

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