Fire Prevention Division
413 Bay Road
South Easton Massachusetts 02375
Telephone 508-230-0750 Fax 508-238-2891
|CO Detectors||Plan Reviews|
of New Regulations for CO Detectors
buildings with fossil-fuel burning equipment or enclosed parking areas, the new
regulations require carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home and
within ten feet of each sleeping area and in habitable portions of basements and
attics. The CO detectors may be:
Qualified combination detectors (smoke/carbon monoxide alarm) are:
Combination smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors that must have simulated voice and tone alarms that clearly distinguish between the two types of emergencies. Only photoelectric smoke alarms are permitted within twenty feet of a bathroom or kitchen. At present there are no photoelectric combination detectors on the market.
All affected residences must install
approved carbon monoxide detectors by March 31, 2006, although where hard-wired
systems are required, the deadline is January 1, 2007.
with Enclosed Parking but No Fossil Fuel Burning Equipment
Apartment or condominium buildings with
enclosed parking areas but which do not have any sources of fossil fuel in the
individual apartments (meaning have electric or solar heat and hot water), have
the option of installing carbon monoxide detectors connected to a monitored fire
alarm system. The CO detectors would be placed only in areas adjacent to the
enclosed parking area. When the only potential source of carbon monoxide in the
building is the parking area, CO detectors would not be required in the
individual units. The deadline for compliance with this method of protection is
January 1, 2007.
with Centralized Fossil Fuel Burning Equipment
For residential buildings where the only
potential source of carbon monoxide is from fossil fuel burning equipment
located in a centralized area or room, there is an alternative compliance
option. Hard-wired or low-voltage carbon monoxide detectors can be installed in
the area or room with the centralized fossil-fuel burning equipment and the
immediately adjacent areas. An example of this would be an apartment building
with a central boiler that heats the building located in the same room with the
hot water heaters and the individual apartments have no other source of carbon
monoxide (i.e. electric stoves.)
Landlords Must Inspect
Annually and at Start of Each Rental Period
Landlords must inspect, maintain, and
replace, if necessary, required CO alarms at the beginning of any rental period.
Tenants should report any problems with detectors to the landlord immediately
and learn to recognize the difference between the smoke alarm and the carbon
State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan said, “Most homeowners are surely eager to comply with these new regulations in order to protect their own families and their tenants. We know that carbon monoxide poisoning can kill right away, but a recent study from the Journal of American Medical Association, 2006;295:398-402, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation has shown that suffering carbon monoxide poisoning increases the risk of heart problems later on that can lead to premature death.” The Department of Public Health is required to adopt and enforce this requirement on landlords as part of the State Sanitary code.
Fire departments are currently required to inspect smoke alarms when one - five unit homes are being sold and transferred. Starting March 31, 2006 (or January 1, 2007 where hard-wired are required) fire departments will be required to inspect all residences upon sale and transfer for carbon monoxide detectors. Maximum fees for separate or joint inspecting of CO alarms and smoke detectors are $50.00 for single-family homes or units (i.e. condo), $100.00 for 2-family dwellings, $150.00 for 3-6 unit dwellings and $500.00 for 6 or more unit buildings.
Fire Protection System Permit
The State Fire Marshall's Office has informed the Department that it must issue a permit before a fire protection system can be installed or altered. This means that anyone installing a new sprinkler and fire alarm system or adding or modifying an existing one must first obtain a permit from the Fire Prevention Office This is 527 CMR 10.03(15). This will become effective immediately. This is not a new regulation.
Smoke Detector Inspection
and Two Family Homes:
1. Minimum of one (1) detector per floor, except unfinished attics.
2. There must be a detector located at bottom of the basement stairs. If the stairway is enclosed, the detector must be outside of enclosure.
3. Smoke detectors should be located within 3’ at the bottom stairways on all levels.
4. There must be detectors outside of sleeping areas.
5. In houses built before 1977, single station battery powered (DC) detectors are allowed.
6. In houses constructed after 1977, there must be hardwire (AC) multiple station detectors.
7. All hardwire (AC) multiple station detectors must sound simultaneously.
8. In houses constructed after March 1, 1996 there must also be a detector in each sleeping area.
Some houses are tied
in to a central station alarm company. Be sure that they are notified prior to
the test and that the homeowner or realtor knows how to reset
1. Townhouse style condos are the same as a single-family dwelling. The units are not connected to each other.
2. Garden style condos built before 1977 may have battery-powered detectors. If they were built after1977, they must have hardwire multiple station detectors. Also the buildings must have hard multiple station smoke detectors in all common areas with horn/strobes and manual pull stations at each exit. Additionally there must be heat detectors in each unit that is connected to the building alarm system.
A smoke detector inspection application can be filled out at Station 3, located at 413 Bay Road.
As of August 20, 1999 the following will be the procedure for plan review of one and two family residences.
1. Plans submitted to the Fire/Rescue Department for review shall have the smoke detector locations marked by a licensed installer. The installer shall sign or affix his seal to the plan. The installer license number shall also be on the plan.
2. The residential fire alarm system shall be designed so as to comply with MGL 148, Sec 26B, 527CMR 24 (Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations) and 780CMR 3603.16 (Massachusetts Building Code).
3. The installer shall make an application for a permit to install a Fire Alarm System at the time plans are submitted for review. The permit shall be posted in a conspicuous place.
4. Upon completion of the installation, the installer shall call the Fire Prevention Office for an inspection. The installer shall be present at the time of inspection.
5. A Certificate of Completion will be issued upon successful completion of testing.
Oil Burner Inspection
When a new oil burner and oil tank is to be installed, the oil burner technician must first get a permit from the Fire Prevention Division. After the work is complete the technician files a Certificate of Completion. A member of the Department then does an inspection of the installation.
Tank Removal Inspection
Underground storage tanks used for domestic heating only do not need to be removed or upgraded. However today most banks and mortgage companies require them to be removed due to the liability. Typically it costs between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00 for a removal to be done. If a tank leaks then the cleanup averages about $20,000.00. Tanks may be abandoned in place only if their removal would cause damage to a structure. To abandon in place the tank must thoroughly cleaned, soil samples taken by a licensed site professional and subjected to laboratory analysis. The tank must then be filled with a special lightweight slurry. To remove a tank it must be thoroughly cleaned before removal. A member of the Department must be present at the removal. The tank and site is visually inspected and if clean the tank is then removed to a licensed tank yard.
Return to EFD home page