Next month, a change to Massachusetts smoke detector law goes into effect. The change specifically applies to properties built before 1975. If you own an older home, you will need to take some action. Pre-1975 homes must update smoke detectors to comply with this law.
Why Pre-1975 Homes Must Update Smoke Detectors
The new smoke detector law in MA requires homes built before 1975 to have smoke detectors with a 10-year life span. You may be thinking that your current smoke detectors can certainly function for 10 years, but battery changes are required. Under this new law, the smoke detectors in your home must actually have a 10-year battery! Since this is new technology, it is unlikely that you already have the correct type installed in your home. You will probably need to purchase new smoke detectors.
Before Buying New Smoke Detectors
Before you head out to the hardware store, there are some additional things that you need to know. First, make sure you are aware of the proper location of smoke detectors. Detectors are required on every level, the bottom of stairways, and outside of bedrooms. To learn more about this, read our blog post about MA Smoke Detector Regulations. Additionally, be sure to purchase the right type of smoke detectors. Photoelectric detectors are now required near kitchens and baths since they are less prone to false alarms. However, some communities require photoelectric detectors throughout the home. Verify the locations and types of smoke detectors needed with your local fire department.
Enforcement of MA Smoke Detector Law
The local fire department typically doesn’t inspect the smoke detectors until you go to sell your home. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make changes to your smoke detectors now to be in compliance. These laws were created for safety reasons. Given the danger of house fires and the importance of early detection and alerts, updating smoke detectors in pre-1975 homes will help keep everyone a little safer.