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Massachusetts Fire Safety Commission and Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board

Here you'll find information regarding the Massachusetts Fire Safety Commission and Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board.

The Massachusetts Fire Safety Commission (MFSC) promulgates 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. 26A½required 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.

ASAB Hearings and How to File Appeals

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
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 Memorandum Issued by the Board

Advisory on M.G.L. c. 148, s. 26G  - Updated advisory regarding 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.

Memorandum - May 1, 2020  - Stipulations of Facts and Recommended Dispositions

Memorandum - May 1, 2020 - Presentation of cases before the Board

ASAB Jan. 10, 2005 Advisory - 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.


Recent Decisions of the Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board

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