The state of Massachusetts requires all homes to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors upon the sale of a home. If you are selling a home in Massachusetts it is a good idea to check and see if you are in compliance when you list the home.
Massachusetts General Law C148S. 26F mandates that upon the sale or transfer of certain homes the seller must install approved smoke detectors. These requirements apply to residences that were built or modified prior to creation of the state building code (January 1st 1975. If a building has undergone renovation, addition or modification after Jan 1, 1975, the date of the building permit determines the smoke detector requirements of the building code.
Since March of 2006 carbon monoxide detectors have been required in all residences that have wither fossil fuel burning equipment or an attached enclosed garage.
Your local fire department must inspect the home for the presence of both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. The fire department will also be checking to see if:
- The detectors are in working order.
- Placed properly in the home in relation to stories, bedrooms and kitchens.
- The detectors are of the right type.
- Your home is properly identified with 3 1/2″ numbers in plain view.
After a successful inspection the fire department will issue a Certificate of Compliance indicating the home meets the smoke detector requirements.
Though the law only requires the Certificate of Compliance for certain homes it is common practice to obtain the Certificate of Compliance as many banks and Purchase and Sales will require it.
Please not that the requirements vary slightly based on the residence and always double check with your local fire department to find out what you need to do to comply. Some homes will require hard wire installation.
Typical one and two family residences built before January 1st 1975:
Smoke detectors are required as follows:
- On every habitable level of the home.
- On the ceiling at the base of each stairway.
- On the ceiling outside of each sleeping area. One unit can serve multiple bedrooms as long as it is within 10 feet of each bedroom.
- The smoke detectors can be hardwired, battery powered or a combination of the two.
- If the smoke detector is located with in 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (with shower or tub) the smoke detector will be required to be a photoelectric detector.
- If the smoke detector is outside of 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (with shower or tub)you must use a dual detector containing both ionization and photoelectric technology or Two separate detectors one of each.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- One on every habitable level of the home. It must be located with in 10 feet of each bedroom.
- Detectors may be wither battery powered, plug in or hardwired with battery back-up.
- Detectors can be combination units with the appropriate smoke detector.
Between 1975 and August 27th 1997 the above applies but the smoke detectors must be interconnected hardwired and for every 1200 sq feet of living space there must be at least one detector.
After August 27th 1997 all of the above applies but the smoke detectors must have battery back-up.
After January 1st 2008 all of the above applies with the addition of one smoke detector in each bedroom and carbon monoxide detectors must be hardwired.
This information was gathered from a state publication which can be downloaded.
After you have a closing date contact your local fire department and schedule an inspection. Don’t wait until the last minute. Each town has their own fees for the inspection. Prior to the inspection make sure you are in compliance and all detectors are in working order. Once you receive the certificate of compliance make sure you save the original certificate for the closing.
This post was reprinted from www.thehousewiz.com