All properties in Massachusetts are required to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. The specific requirements vary based on the type and age of a property. When properties are sold, sellers are required to furnish smoke certificates issued by the local fire department confirming that the property is in compliance with these laws. Here’s what you should know about smoke inspection requirements before MA real estate sales.
As mentioned above, the location and types of smoke detectors required does vary depending on when a home was built, whether it’s a single family or multi-family, the total number of units (if a multi-family), and whether it’s undergone renovation. Additional requirements may also be levied by individual cities and towns.
There have been a few major changes to smoke detector laws in Massachusetts over the years. For instance, as of December 1, 2016 all smoke detectors must have a 10-year sealed battery. These smoke detectors last for 10 years but are non-reusable. The whole unit must be replaced rather than just the batteries.
The best way to get the most updated information is to contact the local fire department. Most have a fire prevention department responsible for smoke detector compliance. Contact them to determine what exactly you will need in your home prior to inspection.
Scheduling Smoke Inspections
Do not wait until the last minute to schedule smoke inspections. Some fire departments perform inspections only once a week. During the busy spring and summer markets, you may need to request an inspection appointment several weeks ahead of time. Additionally, allow extra time in case your property fails the inspection and needs to be re-inspected prior to closing.
Upon completion of a smoke inspection, the fire department will provide you with a smoke certificate. The closing attorney may request a copy ahead of time, but the original must be brought to closing in order to fully comply with smoke inspection requirements before MA real estate sales. Failure to do so may result in a delay.
Summary of Smoke Inspection Requirements Before MA Real Estate Sales
If you are selling a home, it’s important to be aware of these smoke detector requirements. Even if you are not selling, it’s a good idea to make sure your property complies with the law as they were created with safety in mind. Be ready for a smoke inspection when you list your home for sale and get the actual inspections completed early. Smoke certificates are valid for 60 days and cost an average of $50 (typically charged per unit in the case of multi-family properties). For additional information on the smoke inspection process, contact your local fire department.