Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements

iconFor questions on proper installation, call the Fire Prevention Division at 617-466-4620.

Massachusetts General Law mandates the proper installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors upon sale or transfer of certain homes. However, industry practice by most mortgage companies is that purchase and sale agreements for all residential property require a Certificate of Compliance.

As a new homeowner, please make sure the street number is visible from the street. (MGL c.148). Once you have a closing date, call the Chelsea Fire Department to schedule your inspection. Call Fire Prevention to make an appointment 617-466-4620.

Fees to obtain a Certificate of Compliance as follows: 

Type of home: Fees*:
Single family/Condo unit $50
Two-family $100
3- 6 units $150
7 or more units $500

*Please note, we do not accept Personal Checks, Cash or Credit Cards. Bank Checks or Money Orders only.

Below is a list of the basic Smoke Alarms requirements, smoke alarms must be installed:

  1. On every habitable level and in the basement.
  2. Outside each separate sleeping area.
  3. Inside each bedroom (MA State Building Code 780 – CMR).
  4. On the ceiling at the base of each stairway leading to a floor above.
  5. For 2 or more family, in common areas shared by residents.
  6. Smoke Alarms must be photoelectric, maybe in combination with ionization or carbon monoxide alarms.
  7. Battery-powered alarms over 10 years old must be removed and replaced.
  8. All new alarms must be 10 years, sealed, non-rechargeable, non-replaceable battery type.

Avoid Code Violations:

  1. No keyed bedroom door locks.
  2. All means of egress clear of debris.
For 3 to 5-unit occupancies, it also requires hard-wired, interconnected detectors in common stairways and basements.

For 6-unit and up, it also requires:

  1. Fire Alarm panel, Central Station or Master Box.
  2. Master Box preferred over 12 units.
  3. Knox Box installed at the front entrance.
  4. NOTE: All 6 Unit and up residential occupancies require an annual Fire Alarm Inspection to be completed by a licensed Fire Alarm technician. Proof of a current, active inspection completed within the past 12 months is required to be provided to the Fire Inspector on the day of the inspection.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors must be installed on every level of the residence, within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and as well as inside inhabitable basements and attics.

You can download a PDF copy of this Guide for your record.