Smoke Detectors

December 23, 2016

In today’s age, we rely on technology to help protect ourselves and our families. What we sometimes forget, or are unaware of, are the ever changing requirements of this technology. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are one of these technologies that many people don’t realize require maintenance and replacement. Not only has the technology of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors improved for our protection but the “placement” of the technology has also come under new guidelines.

On April 5, 2010, a significant change in the Massachusetts smoke detector requirements became effective for all residences subject to MGL c. 148, s. 26F upon the sale or transfer of a home. Now, all smoke detectors installed within 20 feet of kitchens or bathrooms (containing a bathtub or shower) are required to be photoelectric detectors. The risk of nuisance alarms from steam and cooking is lower with photoelectric only detectors. All installed smoke detectors more than 20 feet from kitchens or bathrooms (containing a bathtub or shower) must utilize either:

  • A DUAL detector (containing both ionization and photoelectric technologies); OR
  • Two separate detectors (one photoelectric and one ionization).

Depending when your home was built, the guidelines vary – Here is the timeframe breakdown:

  • Typical one- and two-family residences built before January 1, 1975
  • Typical one- and two-family residences permitted between 1975 and August 27, 1997
  • Typical one- and two-family residences permitted after August 27, 1997
  • Typical one- and two-family residences permitted on or after January 1, 2008

A Guide to the Massachusetts Smoke and Carbon Monoxide requirement” is an extremely helpful document that you can follow step-by-step to ensure your home is up to code for the protection of your family.

If you are selling, buying, renting, investing or just living in your home, we can help you with your smoke detector compliance. Fire Protection is your best friend. Reducing liability will allow you to keep your family, friends, and tenants safe and soundly sleeping.