Division of Fire Safety News

fpo logo

Fire Prevention Officer Training Program  The Department of Fire Services is pleased to introduce a multi-level training program for fire prevention officers. The training will prepare them to receive credentials for each level of the training from the State Fire Marshal - Basic, Level I and Level II. The first level - Fire Prevention Officer - Basic has an e-learning component and is the first part of the training to be launched. This program is the introductory level of our new Fire Prevention Officer Credentialing program and is designed to address the need of everyday fire prevention activities across the Commonwealth by providing information on basic inspections, smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarms, liquid propane (LP) installations and oil burner installations. The Credentialing Program will be issued by the State Fire Marshal to any Massachusetts fire service individual. 

Back to School Fire Prevention

School Fire Prevention

The fire chief, police chief and superintendent of schools in every community must hold a meeting before school starts to make and review multi-hazard plans for each school. These so-called “363 meetings” after the section of law that requires them, have been required since 2000, so often it is a matter or reviewing and updating existing plans especially when key players change, making plans for new school buildings, and most importantly, making sure there is training and communication with the people in each building who will need to carry it out in an emergency. It is important to include procedures for parent-child re-unification to ensure accountability.

The recent report of the Governor’s School Safety Commission highlighted the importance of these meetings and safety plans. It emphasized the need for teamwork before, during and after an emergency and talked about using the Incident Command System (ICS) as a framework for collaboration.

It might be useful to discuss other topics during these meetings such as the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) Program, the school fire reporting law , (MGL C 148, S 2A) and bring them copies of the forms and ask if they know where to send reports, and provide a copy of the School Fire Prevention pdf format of School Fire Prevention Overview
pamphlet. The pamphlet will give you chance to review fire drills, use of theatrical special effects, storage of cleaning products, servicing of fire extinguishers, fire alarms and commercial cooking equipment, chemistry lab safety, school wall decorations, etc. On the Department of Fire Services’ webpage go to Division of Fire Safety and Fire Prevention Resources and School Fire Prevention are resources for fire departments on these topics. In addition, there is information in the August DFS Briefs and on the Index of DFS Advisories to fire chiefs.

New On-Line Blasting Detail Training for FDs

The Department of Fire Services is rolling out a new on-line training for fire personnel who will be working blasting details. The on-line training replaces the Division of Fire Safety presentation and includes a testing component. The e-learning course covers the basic knowledge required to work a blasting detail including the transportation, storage and use of explosive materials. The program also covers the fire code regulation (527 CMR 13) relative to air blast, ground vibration, and fly rock. The goal is to make this training available to fire departments whenever they need to have trained personnel quickly ready to supervise this work. Proper enforcement of the regulation protects public safety and the regulated industry.

Comprehensive Model Fire Code

New  Fire Code Training
  photo of a book

The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations has adopted a revised Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code (527 CMR 1:00) that will take effect on January 1, 2015. The new code adopts the National Fire Protection Association Standard 1(NFPA 1) with Massachusetts amendments. The Department of Fire Services and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are offering a number of two-day training opportunities pdf format of New Fire Code Orientation.pdf
 intended to prepare fire service personnel for the implementation and use of the revised code document. Code enforcement personnel will learn to navigate the new format. These sessions will not interpret code provisions or delve into specific areas of the code, rather they will introduce the format and highlight use of the code for fire service purposes. Attendees will receive a current copy of the base code and amendments at the class.

Code Compliance and Technical Support

Code Compliance officers are responsible for ensuring uniform statewide compliance with the laws and regulations the State Fire Marshal is charged to enforce. The unit can be asked to look into any matter covered by MGL Chapter 148 or 527 CMR . Code Compliance officers have statewide jurisdiction and are designated by the State Fire Marshal to support the regulatory compliance efforts of local fire department officers and to enhance our fire prevention goals.

Technical support staff provides fire protection engineering support, fire code interpretations, and opinions on the application of fire safety laws and regulations, and support to local enforcement agencies. Code compliance officers review plans and issue permits for the operation of aboveground storage tanks. The State Fire Marshal issues advisories to the public and fire professionals.

Please note: Effective July 1, 2009 administration of the Underground Storage Tank Program (UST) has been transferred to the Department of Environmental Protection. (Phone: 617-556-1035 Ext. 2)


Technical support staff are responsible for licensing of people and companies engaged in fireworks, blasting, explosives, special effects, cannon and mortar firing, commercial cooking exhaust system cleaning and inspection, special hazard systems and portable fire extinguishers.

Public Education

All are run by the Public Education Unit of the Office of the State Fire Marshal. They provide technical assistance to local fire departments, health educators, medical and public health professionals, classroom teachers, elder service providers, community and service organizations, and anyone else interested in collaborating on life safety education. Look here for a list of events  and flyers as well as information on the S.A.F.E. program and Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Programs .

Fire Data and Statistics

The Fire Data Unit maintains the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System ( MFIRS ) and the Massachusetts Burn Injury Reporting System ( M-BIRS ). By analyzing this data, we can see what causes fires and burns, determine if problems are getting better or worse and develop appropriate prevention plans.

Contact Us

Code Compliance and Enforcement Unit(978) 567-3375
Licensing and Permits(978) 567-3700
Western Mass. Office(413) 587-3181
Fire Data / MFIRS(978) 567-3382
S.A.F.E. Program(978) 567-3388
Public Education(978) 567-3380
Fire & Explosion Investigation Section(978) 567-3310
Arson Hotline(800) 682-9229