Smoke & CO Detector Requirements
Braintree Fire Department
1 Union Place
Braintree, MA. 02184
Emergency Dial 911
Departmental Hours of Operation:
The fire department is open 24/7/365 days a year
The administrative staff is available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Smoke & CO Detectors
Town of Braintree Requirements for Certificate of Compliance for
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you need a Certificate of Compliance for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors for a condo or single family home read these guidelines thoroughly and follow all instructions in order to acquire a certificate.
In order to be compliant with the regulation you will need:
• smoke detectors
• carbon monoxide detectors
• house numbers.
It is the responsibility of the realtor / homeowner to place the proper detector in the locations required.
It is important that the smoke detectors and CO detectors be approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Be sure that the detectors have the UL label on the back of the detectors.
Typical single family residences built before January 1, 1975:
Owners must now install smoke detectors employing both ionization and photoelectric technologies in all places where they were previously required, EXCEPT within 20 feet of a kitchen or a bathroom containing a bathtub or shower. Within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom containing a bathtub or shower, ONLY a photoelectric smoke detector is allowed. Compliance can be achieved by installing two separate detectors using these technologies, or by installing one detector which uses both technologies. The new regulations do not change the location where the detectors need to be placed. They only change the technologies that have to be employed.
In residences not subject to MGL c.148,s.26F(built after January 1975), the smoke detector upgrade is recommended, but is not required by law. This would be in reference to those properties that have hard wired detection systems.
• Smoke Detectors are required as follows:
* Must be mounted on ceiling and at least 6 inches from
* On every habitable level of the residence. If a single level has an area in excess of 1200 S/F, a second smoke detector is required remote from the first.
* On the ceiling above the base of each stairway (Including the basement). if the ceiling is not finished place the detector on the bottom of the floor joist. Do not put the detector on the sloped part of the ceiling above the stairs.
* On the ceiling outside of each separate sleeping area.
* The smoke detectors may either be battery powered, hardwired or a combination of the two.
* If the smoke detector is located within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower), the smoke detector will be required to be a photoelectric detector.
* If the smoke detector is outside of 20 feet of a kitchen or a bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower) you must utilize either:
▪ A dual detector (containing both ionization
and photoelectric technologies); OR
▪ Two separate detectors (one photoelectric and one ionization).
Low voltage household warning systems are exempt from the dual detection requirement.
• Carbon Monoxide Detectors are required as follows:
For buildings with fossil-fuel burning equipment or enclosed parking areas, the regulations require carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home and within ten feet of each sleeping area and in habitable portions of attics.
If your home contains equipment which includes: water heaters, oil or gas furnaces, wood or gas fireplaces, wood pellet stoves, gas clothes dryers, or gas cooking stoves, you will need to follow the CO detector requirements. Homes with attached garages will also require CO detectors.
* May be ceiling or wall mounted if CO only detector. May be either: battery powered, AC plug-in with battery backup or hardwired with battery backup.
* A CO detector must be located on every level of the residence, including basements and habitable portions of attics but excluding crawl spaces.
* A CO detector must be located within the immediate vicinity of the sleeping area, not to exceed 10 feet from any bedroom door.
* Homes with attached garages will also require CO detectors in the home and not in the garage.
Combination detectors (photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide detector) may be used if the detector is within 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower). Acceptable combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms must have simulated voice and tone alarms that clearly distinguish between the two types of emergencies. Combination units must be ceiling mounted.
Combination detectors (ionization smoke and carbon monoxide detector) may be used if the detector is outside of 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom (containing a bathtub or shower). Acceptable combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms must have simulated voice and tone alarms that clearly distinguish between the two types of emergencies. Combination units must be ceiling mounted.
• House Numbers are required as follows:
House numbers should be at least 3 “ high in numerals only. They should be a contrasting color to the house and clearly visible from the street. If the home is not visible from the street the number should be on a post or marker at the street as well as on the home. The numbers should be to the left or right of the entry door and not on the door itself. No Adhesive Numbers
Smoke and CO Detector Placement Guidelines
Smokes Detectors There must be 2 smoke detectors (Ionization and Photoelectric) on the ceiling at the bottom of the basement stairway. In unfinished construction, detectors should be mounted on the bottom of the floor joist. If there is a full bathroom or kitchen in the basement that is within 20 feet of the stairway then the detector should be photoelectric only.
Carbon Monoxide Detector A CO detector must be located in the basement. It can go in the same location as the smoke detectors. If there are bedrooms in the basement then the detector must be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door. The CO detector should not be located within 10 feet of a Carbon Monoxide producing appliance.
Smoke Detectors Smoke detectors (ionization and photoelectric) must go on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairway leading to the 2nd floor. If this location is within 20 feet of a bathroom or kitchen then the detector should be photoelectric only. If there are any bedrooms on the first floor then a smoke detector should go on the ceiling outside the sleeping area.
Carbon Monoxide Detector A Carbon Monoxide detector should be placed on the first floor level. If there are bedrooms on the first floor then the CO Detector should be within 10 feet of the bedroom door.
Smoke Detectors There should be a smoke detector on the ceiling outside the sleeping area, typically in the common hallway. If there is a bathroom within 20 feet of these bedrooms then a photoelectric detector should be used. If these bedrooms are beyond 20 feet then 2 detectors (Ionization and Photoelectric) should be used. If you sleep with your bedroom doors closed, it is recommended that a smoke detector be installed inside each bedroom. Alarms should also be installed in other areas of your home where people sleep.
Carbon Monoxide Detector A CO detector should be placed on the 2nd floor level. If there are bedrooms on the 2nd floor then the CO Detector should be in the common hallway within 10 feet of the bedroom doors.
Habitable portions of an attic should have both types of smoke detectors and a CO Detector
General information to complete the single family home inspection
Once the detectors are in place and ready for inspection you may call Braintree Fire Headquarters @ 781-843-3602 and ask to make an appointment for a single family home smoke and CO detector inspection.
Please notify the fire department at least 2 weeks in advance of the closing in order to schedule your inspection.
Inspections are done on Monday – Fridays from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
The fee for the inspection is $75.00. The town will accept bank checks, money orders or realty company checks made out to the “Town of Braintree”. Personal checks and cash will not be accepted.
After a successful inspection for smoke detector, CO detector and house number compliance, the Braintree Fire Department will issue the Certificate of Compliance to bring to your mortgage closure. Certificates are good for 60 days.
Any questions can be answered by calling 781-843-3602
• It is recommended that smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years.
• Test your smoke and CO detectors monthly and replace the batteries twice a year. REMEMBER, when you change the clocks, change the batteries.