Board Members - January 1, 2015
NameOrganization
Aime R. DeNault, ChairRepresentative of Massachusetts Association of Realtors
Maurice M. Pilette, Vice ChairProfessional Engineer
Joseph FinnActing Commissioner, City of Boston (Ex-Officio)
Stephen D. CoanState Fire Marshal (Ex-Officio)
Anthony DiNataleRepresentative of Hotel/Motel Industries
Alexander MacleodState Board of Building Regulations and Standards (Designee)
Peter E. GibbonsRepresentative of Sprinkler Fitters Union
Chief Thomas CoulombeRepresentative of Fire Chiefs' Association of Massachusetts
George A. DuhamelElectrical Inspector
Staff 
Peter Senopoulos, EsqLegal Counsel to Board
 Administrative Assistant

The Massachusetts Fire Safety Commission (MFSC) is statutorily charged with promulgating all rules and regulations for the implementation of a statewide plan for the retrofit installation of automatic sprinklers in all existing buildings and structures of more than seventy feet in height. The Fire Safety Commission is composed of nine members. Contact the Commission at (978) 567-3181.

The Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board (ASAB), a five member hearing board of the Massachusetts Fire Safety Commission, conducts hearings for persons seeking relief from orders or requirements of the head of the fire department, issued pursuant to the following provisions of M.G.L. c. 148:

  • M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26A½ - required the retroactive sprinkler installation in buildings or structures over 70’ feet high and built prior to January 1, 1975. Original law was effective in 1986.
  • M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26G – requires sprinklers in certain non-residential buildings that, in the aggregate, consist of over 7,500 s.f. in floor area. Sprinklers are required for new construction, major alterations or when any addition is taking place.
  • M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26G½ – required the retroactive installation of sprinkler systems in nightclubs, dancehalls, discothèques, bars or similar entertainment venues built prior to December 1, 2004 that have a capacity of 100 persons or more. The law required such installations no later than November 15, 2007.
  • M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26H – requires the installation of sprinklers in lodging houses or boarding houses where lodgings are let to 6 or more unrelated persons. Such installation is required within five (5) years of the local adoption of the law.

For ASAB hearings: the presence of the appellant and the head of the fire department or designee/agent is strongly recommended. To obtain an appeal application, please see the link below.

Filing ASAB Appeals: All appeals must be filed within 45 days (calendar days) after receiving service of notice of the head of the fire department's determination. All appeals require the submission of the formal application form (8 copies), a copy of the head of the fire department's written determination, a written explanation of relief request, and a $100.00 file fee.

ASAB Appeal Application and Instructions pdf format of asab_application_revised_08_2010.pdf
If you have any questions regarding the appeals application, or the hearings process, please feel free to call the Executive Assistant to the Board at (978) 567-3181.

Advisories and Memoranda Issued by the Mass. Fire Safety Commission / Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board:

Memorandum - August 8, 2003 pdf format of 03_08_08_asab_dispo_memo.pdf
- Stipulations of Facts and Recommended Dispositions

ASAB Jan. 10, 2005 Advisory pdf format of asab_guidance.pdf
- Advisory regarding certain provisions of Ch. 304, of the Acts and Resolves of 2004 (M.G.L. c.148, s.26G½) relating to the installation of automatic sprinklers in certain existing places of public assembly.

Memorandum - August 24, 2005 pdf format of 05_08_23_memo.pdf
- Presentation of cases before the Board

ASAB Official Approved 26G Guidance pdf format of Guidance Document Issued About Changes to MGL...
- Advisory regarding recent amendments to M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26G (Chapter 508 of the Acts of 2008) which requires enhanced sprinkler protection in certain buildings which total more than 7,500 gross square feet in floor area.

Recent Decisions of the Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board:

ASAB Decisions on High-Rise Sprinkler Law - M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26A½

ASAB Decisions on Sprinklers in Buildings over 7,500 s.f. - M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26G

ASAB Decisions on Sprinklers in Nightclubs - M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26G½

ASAB Decisions on Sprinklers in Boarding Houses - M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26H