Smoke alarm and smoke

Working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are your first, and many times, your only life saving defense against fires and CO poisoning. In 2014, almost one-quarter of residential fire victims had no working smoke alarms to warn them. In 12% of these fires, smoke alarms were present but failed to operate.

Massachusetts law requires working smoke and CO alarms in all residences. This page will help you determine the type of alarms you need, where they need to be located, and how to maintain them.  Additionally, you may be required to obtain a Certificate of Compliance indicating your home meets these requirements should you wish to sell your home.

Help Understanding the Regulations
The Department of Fire Services has published a guide to help the fire service, public and realtors understand the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements when selling one- or two-family homes. Your local fire department is your best resource for the code requirements for a specific home.

Consumer Guide to Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms When Selling 1-and 2-FamilyHomes
Revisions to the smoke alarm regulations take effect on December 1, 2016. If you are selling your home on or after December 1, 2016, use this updated version of the Consumer’s Guide to know what the requirements are:

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms
Since March 2006, homes have been required to install carbon monoxide detectors on each habitable level as well.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Compliance for Sale or Transfer
After you have obtained a closing date, contact your local fire department to schedule an inspection of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms right away. The fire department issues the certificate of compliance which will likely be required at the closing.

Fire departments with code compliance and enforcement questions can call (978) 567-3375 or in western Massachusetts (978) 567-3813.

Telephone Numbers

Division of Fire Safety Code Compliance and Enforcement(978) 567-3375
Licensing and Permits(978) 567-3700
Fire & Explosion Investigation Section(978) 567-3110
Arson Hotline(800) 682-9229
Western Mass.Office(978) 567-3813
Public Fire Safety Education Hotline(877) 9NO-FIRE