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Welding, Cutting & Other Hot Works

Information on the State Fire Code training and permit requirements for welding , cutting & hotworks

Starting July 1, 2018, anyone applying for a hot works permit from the local fire department anywhere in the state must show they have completed an approved training program.

One of the many lessons learned from the March 26, 2014 fire that killed two Boston firefighters, sparked by unpermitted and improper  welding activity, the lack of training and understanding surrounding hot works and hot works safety.

Who needs a hot works permit from the fire department?

Since January 2015, anyone conducting this kind of work has been required to have a permit from the local fire department. The new exceptions to this are:

  • Certain licensed tradespeople, such as electricians and plumbers, already pulling permits from the local building department under their specialty codes (e.g., electrical code, plumbing code). They do not also have to pull a separate permit from the fire department.
  • Homeowners and hobbyists.

 

Additional Resources for Who needs a hot works permit from the fire department?

Who must complete a training program?

A qualified person must provide documentation that he or she has successfully completed an approved training program in order to serve in any of these capacities:

  • Anyone who performs hot work.
  • Anyone who serves as a "Permit Authorizing Individual" (PAI) to perform, supervise or delegate hot work;
  • Anyone who performs as a fire watch except fire department fire details.
  • Anyone who needs a permit from the local fire department to conduct such work.

Successfully completed means a certificate of completion with the person's name, date of completion, and a provider’s/instructor’s signature acknowledging the individual attended and completed the program.

Approved Training Programs

The following training programs have been approved by the State Fire Marshal:

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) - Hot Works Safety Certificate 1-Day Program

Gould Construction Institute Hot Works Training

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hot work?

Hot work is any work process that involves heat, spark, or flame that is capable of starting fires or explosions. Examples include, but are not limited to, welding, cutting, grinding, soldering, heat treating, hot riveting, torch applied roofing, abrasive blasting, and powder driven fasteners.

Who is required to attend hot work safety training?

Anyone who performs, supervises, or delegates hot work must complete hot work safety training.  This includes trades licensed under a specialized code (M.G.L. chapter 143 section 96) such as, but not limited to, plumbers and electricians, who may receive their training as part of their licensing authority’s continuing education requirements. 

If I received training through my work place, am I covered?

Maybe. Hot work safety training programs must be approved by the State Fire Marshal.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hot work safety training began in October 2016 and has been approved by the Marshal.  Gould Institute received their approval in June 2018. Additional training has been submitted for approval and as they are approved, will be listed on this webpage.

Do I need a permit from the fire department to conduct hot work?

Yes, with very few exceptions as described below. 

Those individuals who are licensed under a specialized code (M.G.L. chapter 143 section 96) such as, but not limited to, plumbers, electricians, etc. are not required to secure a permit from the head of the fire department.  For example, a plumber who pulls a permit to do plumbing work is not required to get another permit from the fire department for the hot work that is incidental to their plumbing work.

Individuals who conduct hot work on their own premises or equipment must consult with their fire department before performing hot work but do not need a permit from the fire department.

Homeowners and Hobbyists are exempt from permitting requirements of 527 CMR 1.00 Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code

Are we ok if we have one trained individual on the job site who oversees others?

No.  Anyone who performs, supervises or delegates hot work must be trained.

Where can the requirements for hot works be found?

Chapter 41 of 527 CMR 1.00 Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code contain the requirements for hot works.

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