Single family and 2-family residential homes sold in MA must be inspected by the fire department to confirm the proper installation of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. They then provide a smoke certificate required for the closing. It is prudent for property owners to understand the MA smoke detector regulations and types of smoke detectors and to comply (regardless of whether they are planning to sell their property).
Types Of Smoke Detectors
There are two primary designs of smoke detectors, ionization and photoelectric. Each has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to identifying smoke and fire.
Ionization smoke detectors contain two electrodes and current that runs between them. Smoke interferes with this current and triggers the alarm. Ionization detectors are good at detecting flames but cannot differentiate between smoke and steam. Therefore, they are prone to false alarms when installed near kitchens and bathrooms.
Photoelectric smoke detectors use a beam of light. Smoke or fire will interrupt this beam and set off the alarm. It is more accurate at detecting smoldering fire and is less prone to false alarms from kitchen smoke or shower steam.
MA Smoke Detector Regulations
MA regulations determine the kinds and placement of smoke detectors in single family and 2-family buildings. The details vary based on when a property was constructed or renovated. Below is an overview of the installation of smoke detectors within a home.
|Location||before 1975||1975 to Aug. 27, 1997||after Aug. 27, 1997||on or after Jan. 1, 2008||on or after Feb. 4, 2011|
|Every Living Level||Required||Required||Required||Required||Required|
|Bottom of Every Stairway||Required||Required||Required||Required|
|Outside Each Sleeping Space||Required||Required||Required||Required||Required|
|Min. 1 for Every 1,200 sf Living Space per Level||Required||Required||Required||Required|
|Inside Each Bedroom||Required||Required||Required|
|Bottom of Each Stairwell to an Occupied Floor||Required|
|Within 20ft. of Kitchens/Baths||Photoelectric||Photoelectric||Photoelectric||Photoelectric|
|Outside of 20ft. of Kitchens/Baths||Both Ionization & Photoelectric||Photoelectric OR Dual||Photoelectric|
Additional Rules That Apply
More laws on MA smoke detector regulations may be viewed at http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/dfs2/osfm/fire-prev/smoke-alarm-regulations.html. Note that this information is only an overview, should not be considered legal advice and may change in the future. Additionally, cities/towns may maintain stricter rules beyond the state ones. Contact your local fire department to receive full and current laws for your home.